I Can See HIS Love Everywhere

Today's featured blogger is Gabrielle Pfund. She is 17 years old and a member of the Glenwood Church of Christ youth group from Tyler, TX.

I wasn't sure what to expect coming to Fortress. All I really knew was that there would be kids coming here to learn and worship God who were experiencing generational poverty. Even though I tried to come in here with an open mind and no expectations, I suppose there was a part of me trying to guess what the kids would be like because I was pleasantly surprised. When the first couple kids entered, I think the buddies and the children were nervous and didn't know exactly what to say or do. So, the kids colored and we tried to ask them questions to bring them out of their shell. By the end of the afternoon, I'm happy to say that those shells were gone and the kids were acting freely and openly around us.

Gabrielle with her new friend, Aryana!
Since I have to leave Fortress early, I was told that I am going to be a "Universal Buddy," which means I'll hang out with all the kids in my group (Raphael). One little girl, named Aryana, and I really made a connection. She actually helped me with the schedule and let me know what I should expect. She is so smart and sweet. I came here for the kids, yet I don't feel like the kids are the only ones getting helped or changed in the process.

After wrapping up the day by swinging with Daijlynn and Isabelle, I prepared myself for what Urban Experience I was to face. My group got assigned to buy dinner on a $0.90 budget per person. That wasn't the hardest part of the experience. We had to ride two separate buses to get to the nearest grocery store, shop for food without missing the next bus, catch the bus, and then walk nearly a mile back  to Fortress with all of our groceries in hand. Eating on such a small budget would be difficult, but I think the worst part of living under those circumstances is the challenge of transportation.

I came to Fortress thinking I wanted to bring at least one kid closer to God. After just spending the day here, I think God brought me here not just for the kids, but for my relationship with Him as well. I can see His pure light in some of these children. I can see His love everywhere in Fortress. Now I can see how He's blessed my family, but I can also see those blessings aren't for us alone. I am truly fortunate for being able to come to Fortress.