Clowns, Clothing and Christ Part Two
Once the clothes and shoes had been set up, the families were allowed in to the gymnasium and directed to sit on the bleachers. They had to watch a clown show before they could receive the supplies for their children. The clown’s ministry consisted mostly of store-bought magic tricks . The message was, “If you pray with enough sincerity, God will give you stuff.” The kids were mostly baffled by the whole thing. So was I.
The clowns perform.
Some enjoy the show. Many do not.
Finally, the clown show sort of petered out when the kids became too bored and restless. So, we start handing out the clothes and shoes. There are generations in this area who have lived off of charity and government assistance. I imagine that this will not be the last generation to do so.
This woman came here with three or four or five grandchildren. She was very, very happy to be there, sometimes visibly trembling with excitement. She thanked us profusely and make a point of shaking hands with each of us.
A volunteer had to contend with a few mothers that tried to go through the line twice or pick up clothing for children that were not present. She was a very sweet, hard-working woman but, man, don’t piss her off.
One of the best things on the whole trip was this woman’s smile.
The school also offered a free lunch that day. That is macaroni and cheese, little fried potato puffs shaped like smiley-faces and bits of breaded, fried chicken. The potatoes had some chemical in them that burned my mouth and throat. The chicken was salty and greasy beyond anything I had ever eaten. No wonder these people are always sick and hungry. Their food contains no food.
One grateful, happy little dude.
Our job done, the clowns leave. We leave. The school stays, leaning against a mountain.
I’ve not mentioned the charity or school, although you could figure it out if you wanted to, I suppose.
Text and Images © Andrew Auten – All Rights Reserved