We spent the day with the boys from Eagle’s Nest Landing Center and had SO much fun with them! We started off at the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology (where ENLC is based out of) and some of the team played chess with the boys while others colored or did word searches. Just before lunch we headed to a local park where we played in the playground with the younger boys, threw the frisbee and and played ball with the older ones. After a few cracks of thunder we figured it was time to head out (apparently it hailed back home, only 45 minutes away… but we didn’t get any of that in the city).
We eventually headed over to the Ray & Joan Kroc Center. This was built by the Salvation Army through the donation of Ray & Joan Kroc (the founders of McDonalds). The Kroc Center has an indoor water park, a gymnasium, educational programs, and a theater/chapel where the Salvation Army holds worship services.
We all agreed that we felt a little funny going to a water park on our missions trip, but as soon as we all got in the water the boys really started interacting with us even more than they had before. Whether it was waiting in line for the water slide, playing water volleyball or basketball, floating together in the lazy river, or playing with the littler boys in their section… we really had a blast with the boys.
After we were done swimming together Mr. Duncan took us to the chapel where we all talked together. When I shared with the group that we would love to come back and see them again since we’re so close some of the boys got visibly moved. One of them (who’s usually a jokester) spoke up and said, “That’s really sweet!” and had a huge smile on his face. These are kids who are used to teams coming in for a week and then they never see them again. But since EBC is so close to Boston we have the great opportunity to follow up with these boys and this great ministry. They don’t usually get many volunteers during the school year, and even during the summer CSM is the only group that consistently sends volunteers. What a great opportunity to show these boys that we genuinely care for them and want to invest in them!