Posts Tagged ‘party’

Ice Cream and Pizza Party, by Corrie Guckenberger, Back2Back Nigeria Staff

March 9, 2010

For Christmas, my parents gave all of sixteen of their grandchildren $30 USD. But, the gift itself was for them to see the joy in giving, so a letter was written to each of them about it and what they had to do was find a “cause” or a “need” other than their own life that could benefit from $15. They could keep the other $15 for themselves. After they gave their money to wherever they chose they then had to write a letter back to grandma and grandpa about where the money went, etc…

The grandkids with the grandparents

So, majority of my nieces and nephews proceeded, through time, to hand John and I $15 to go for an ice cream party for some children we work with. We were overwhelmed with the amount handed to us that there was enough for not only an ice cream party, but also a pizza party, as well.

Yesterday afternoon, we took twelve kids from a children’s home we work with (OLA) to a restaurant, called Summerland, for ice cream and pizza.

The children from OLA

When we arrived there, I started finding out from the children one by one as they were ordering ice cream, they had NEVER eaten ice cream before. NEVER!!! They had NEVER been to a restaurant before. And they had NEVER had pizza before. NEVER!

The manager who was running the ice cream parlor asked one of the girls who was 19 years old, if she liked ice cream, she said she didn’t know what it was and has never had it before. You should have seen the man’s face.  He was floored.  From that point on, he was giving double the portions for half the price. It was a blessed day.

A few of the children from OLA, with my son, Gus

Emilee had to show the kids how to hold the pizza (with your hands) because they didn’t know what to do with it. In the end, they behaved quite well in the restaurant and ate all their food (we also ordered Jollof rice, just in case our great idea was a bust. I think they liked having it as an option).

Afterwards, we took them to my kids’ school, Hillcrest, to play on the elementary playground. It was such a fun day. I hope it is one that is not quickly forgotten.

We are blessed for sure.  Gus, our son, said to me near the end of the day, “They really had never had ice cream before?!” I think my whole family was overwhelmed with our own blessings and was reminded of how good we have it, even if it can seem that we are sacrificing.

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A Different Kind of Thanksgiving, by Claire Rogers

September 9, 2009

When Wendy Kuremsky’s  thirteen-year old daughter, Caroline, decided to participate on a Back2Back mission trip with her school, Wendy had no idea just how much that one-week in Mexico would change her daughter.

Wendy remembers the day she picked up Caroline from the airport.  “When she landed in Dayton, OH, after the trip, we got in the car and before I even had my keys out, she had the light on and was showing me the things she did on her digital camera screen and telling me about the kids.  It clearly had an impact on her,” she recalls.  “About a week later she was in another’s mom’s car on the way to dance lessons.  The mom called me afterward and told me how Caroline was so articulate about the trip and that it was obvious she had changed.”

Caroline serving in Mexico on a Back2Back Ministries mission trip

Caroline serving in Mexico on a Back2Back Ministries mission trip

Caroline had been touched by the suffering and poverty she had witnessed.  She felt compelled to do something practical to help the orphans that she had met at the children’s homes where Back2Back serves.  As her birthday approached, Caroline began planning a big party, as she had every year before.  But this time, her celebration would be different.  Instead of accepting traditional birthday presents, Caroline made a special request to attendees, asking that they bring an item to be donated to the children’s homes in Mexico.  On the invitations, she suggested a few specific items that were most needed in the orphanages:  socks, shoes, flip flops, and blankets.

The Kuremsky’s were amazed by the response.  Almost everyone who was invited to the party attended.

“It was literally overwhelming how everyone responded,” Wendy says. “We purposely set up a long table right near the entrance to our yard and put some buckets on it.  When people brought their donations, we’d sort them into the buckets.  It was so exciting to see what families had chosen. In no time at all, the buckets were overflowing.  Another little table was added and we started putting stuff on the ground under the table.  It was very fun the next day for Caroline to look through and see all the things she knew the kids could use.”

Wendy ‘s heart was touched by Caroline’s zeal.  It was inspiring for her to see her daughter’s deep compassion for the children she had met and her determination to do something to make a difference, even after the trip was over.  “God can indeed teach valuable lessons to us through our children,” she says.

Caroline’s older brother, Tanner, has also served on a Back2Back Mexico mission trip.  Impacted by the experiences of Caroline and Tanner, Wendy and her husband, Michael, decided to take a family trip to Mexico to serve at the children’s homes together.  This November, they are joining several other families, for Back2Back’s annual Thanksgiving week mission trip.  They will be taking several extra suitcases, stuffed with socks, shoes and blankets, all of which were donated at Caroline’s birthday party.  While there, they will deliver the items to the local orphanages.

The Kuremskys think that serving children in need is the perfect way to spend Thanksgiving together as a family.  When asked what prompted them to forgo a traditional Thanksgiving celebration, Michael responded, “There is no better way to express our gratitude for how we’ve been blessed as a family than to serve people who haven’t been as blessed as us.”

Interested in participating in the Back2Back Thanksgiving mission trip, Nov 25-29?  There are still a few remaining spots open for families or individuals.  If you would like to join the Kuremskys in Monterrey, Mexico this Thanksgiving, please email the trip leader, Brian Bertke, at brian@back2backministries.org