Youths discover plight of the homeless - roasting marshmellows

Tom Boland (
Thu, 2 Apr 1998 23:54:27 -0800 (PST)
FWD  The Holland [MI] Sentinel: Religion  March 6, 1998


Staff Writer

A group of students will get a taste of what it's like to be homeless next

About 40 Daystar Christian Academy and  home school students will spend
Friday night, March 13 outside at Daystar Living Church, 11025 Paw Paw

"It's to raise awareness," said Greg Castro, youth pastor. "We don't
realize how good we have it. We want to remember people who don't have

The students, ages 15-18, will spend the night in either tents or boxes. No
heaters are allowed.

"We're glad that the young people are willing to demonstrate and learn at
the same time what it means to be homeless," said the Rev. Tom Early,
pastor of Daystar.

While this has been a mild winter, cold weather has returned with lows in
the 20s this week. That doesn't bother the students.

"It's important to get the perspective of other people who are less
fortunate than us," said Betsy Johnson, 18.

"It's a glimpse look at reality," said Mark McCarthy, 18. "It's going to be

Castro thought about this project after brainstorming with the teen-agers
about doing something fun, which would also have some meaning.

"This is a ground-breaking event for these students, the kids are looking
forward to doing it," Castro said. "We decided that we want to do something
fun that can raise awareness."

The students will leave the building after dusk March 13 and stay outside
until mid-morning March 14. They will build a fire in a nearby pit.

"We will put together meals prepared over the fire pit," Castro said.

The students will spend their waking hours singing around the camp fire,
playing volleyball and roasting marshmallows.

Castro is encouraging the students to wear several layers of clothing, with
hats, gloves and winter boots.

"I'm going to tell them to put as many people as you can in a box to keep
warm," he said.

This event is just the start of awareness projects, Castro said. Eventually
he said the students would like to work on projects with Housing
Opportunities Made Equitable or Lakeshore Habitat for Humanity.


ARCHIVES  <>  read posts to HPN
TO JOIN  <> or email Tom <>