If you are part of a big group, like World Race or Passport, coming to El Shaddai chances are you will be buddied up with one or two of the children at El Shaddai whilst you are here.
Being a ‘buddy’ gives you the opportunity to build a closer relationship with a few of the children and also allows for them to have consistency. They have the same person with them on a daily basis helping them with their homework, reading and math’s skills. We are here to be a friend, to help them will their school work and to play with them.
This month ‘Buddy Time’ was scheduled between 3pm – 5pm. Walking up to where the children are at 3pm, everyone starts asking:
‘Who is your bud? Who is your bud?’
They want to know who your buddy is, who you will be hanging out with.
El Shaddai has a wonderful library with a range of books for the children to choose from. They are many places to sit and read – on rocks, in the kitchen, on benches, under a tree. This month our buddies and racers have really enjoyed reading with each other.
During scheduled buddy time school work and reading are the priority but the friendships formed between buddies meant that many would hang out with each other on off days – going on hikes or just playing on the monkey bars!
Author: Beth Borrett
Photo Credit: Aly Badinger
This past Sunday, what began as an idea for a small-group hike, turned into a battalion of El Shaddai children walking down the road armed with water and joined by World Racers from the Fusion Squad ready to hike a neighboring rocky peak. Racers and children held hands and chatted about church that morning. A rowdy game of let’s-walk-on-peoples’-shadow broke out and many little boys laughed and scampered around each other for a long time.
When they approached the mountain, the group thinned out; some kids opted to climb at full speed, racing up the rocks and others slowed down to go at their own pace. Zeus, one of the mission’s large dogs kept up with the children the whole time, leaping from rock to rock with his tongue out. It only took a half an hour for everyone to reach the top. The children who arrived the quickest began calling after the other kids and Racer’s, encouraging them as they climbed. For a while everyone enjoyed the view from the top, but soon they grew restless and ready to move and began their descent. Once again, some had little to no fear of the sharp declines and others hung back with a more cautious pace. Lots of kids enjoyed piggyback rides once they reached the road. Before sunset everyone got home, some with much less energy than when they started, but most can’t wait for a much longer hike next weekend.
Author: Aly Badinger
The authors of this blog are various and sundry, from the long-term staff and volunteers at El Shaddai, to missions trip volunteers, and maybe even a few people in between.