In January the people of Journey Christian Church sent about $7,000 worth of clothing and toys to Afghanistan. What started as a simple request from one of our members (who is serving in Afghanistan) ended up being a blessing to all involved.
The local paper found out about our effort and wrote a story about it: Greeley Soldier and Church Team Up To Clothe Kids in Afghanistan.
This morning I received our first update from Sgt. Eldridge. We need to keep his whereabouts confidential.
What a trip! We headed out to ******* to visit the orphanage and give out a lot of the winter coats that the church sent over. Seeing the children completely broke my heart….61 children with no parents….but they were incredibly excited to see us there. You sent over a few boxes of toys, and at first I thought that that was a bad idea, but I tell you what, that made the trip and it made a few children incredibly happy. One kid, about 2 years old, was sitting on his bed crying and rocking and no matter what I did, I couldn’t get him to smile and play with us. So I went and got him a hat, a scarf, a teddy bear, and a little monster truck, and all the other kids said that this was the first time he had smiled in a long time…and he didn’t just smile, he beamed from ear to ear. He reminded me of my children, able to run and play with no inhibition. He had no memory of the horrible things that have happened in his life. And there are 60 more stories just like that….these children saw a face of the United States that they have never seen before. It will open doors in that community that would have never have been able to be opened without your help
When it was time to go, my commander had to order me out of the orphanage….she told me nicely three times that it was time to go and then she finally said, “SGT Eldridge, go get in the truck!” I didn’t want to go…I could have stayed there for the rest of my deployment.
Josh’s email came with some pictures. Here’s one of him giving out one of the hats that one of our members purchased.