On Friday, February 13, 2015, our Community Service Ministry team headed for South Catabato, to an area in Polomolok where the Mayor has settled “displaced persons.” These are people that you and I would call homeless. The government set aside 2 hectares of land and settled 133 families there. When you figure that each family probably has an average of 3-4 children and that older married children are returning to live with parents because they have nowhere else to go, the total number of people settled in this one area is quite large. I learned a lot about these families while we were there, thanks to my escort, Randolf, translating for me. For a 5 month period, these families all lived under a basketball shelter by the government offices in a different part of Polomolok. Think of it as a big picnic shelter with a basketball court underneath the roof. No walls. They slept on mats or blankets on the cement floor. Sometimes food was available. Sometimes the families went with little or none. There was no privacy and minimal comfort facilities. When the families were moved to this 2 hectare parcel of land, makeshift shelters were set up. Each family was given a 100 square meter lot. This is permanently theirs. The government is now in the process of building a hollow block home on each lot. There is a school for the children to go to. It is located by the highway. This 2 hectare parcel of land is not. It is a long drive from the highway back to a remote area. Randolf tells me that the distance to the school for these children is 5 times farther than any of our mission children have to walk to get to our mission from their homes – and some of them walk a long way. The government has taken some real steps to help these families. It has been a hard road for them but they have hope as they watch the builders come each day and continue to construct homes. They each have a piece of land to call their own. However, there are still many needs unmet. Our CSM team arriving was a welcome visit for these families. Bible studies were done for both the adults and the children. The children were given a booklet that has activities and stories and tells about Jesus and his love. Medical screenings were done and vitamins and some other over-the-counter medications were distributed. The children and any adults who wanted it were given lugaw – the hot rice porridge we take along on every CSM trip. We made some new friends. They shared their stories. We shared the gospel. It was a good afternoon. Trips like this always leave me aching. There is always one more child, one more family to reach with basic needs, education and with the word of God. I know – we can only do what God gives us each day to do. The world is filled with places like this. But what if each of us could give just a little more? Could we make a greater difference in this hurting world? A couple dollars a month goes a long way here. Greater things are still to be done in this city… in this world….