The Journal wraps up Feast of Tabernacles reports for 2001

Following is the last of the Feast of Tabernacles reports for 2001. Most Church of God groups observed the Feast this year Oct. 1-9, although, because of differences involving the use or nonuse of the Jewish calendar, some Feast observances fell on slightly different dates.

To read all The Journal's reports for 2001, see also the October and November issues.

God's love for children

CUERNAVACA, Mexico--This year a Building Bridges group from Phoenix, Ariz., celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles in Cuernavaca. We had festivalgoers from as far away as Georgia come to join us.

Everyone stayed at the Posada Tlaltenango Resort and enjoyed many of our meals together as well as took advantage of the beautiful surroundings and perfect temperatures every day.

One of the pleasures of staying in one hotel is the opportunity for fellowship. The hotel had a reasonably priced restaurant that overlooked the beautiful grounds. We could walk down for a meal and always meet up with other Feastgoers no matter what time of day. God was always the topic of conversation.

We also had educational day trips to Taxco, a centuries-old colonial silver-mining town that boasts hundreds of jewelry shops. We also spent a day exploring the underground caverns at Grutos and the Aztec pyramids at Xochilcalco.

The highlight of the Feast was spending a day with the Salvation Army's orphanage in Cuernavaca. Similar to last year's Feast, we started out at Sam's Club to purchase many of the staple items the Salvation Army requires to feed and care for 50-plus children.

When we arrived we were greeted by enthusiastic and excited children ranging from 5 to 18 years old. We were treated to the children singing "God Is Here" in the orphanage sanctuary. Our group was moved; there were few dry eyes among us.

We stocked the orphanage's shelves for at least three months with the items we had purchased with our offerings from the first holy-day service. We then rolled up our sleeves to set to work on the grounds, cleaning bedrooms and bathrooms and fixing whatever needed to be fixed.

Haircuts were given to a majority of the children by one of the ladies from our group, a new experience for many of the kids. We were served a lunch of fried chicken, spaghetti and salad.

We were impressed by the love and concern these children had for one another. The husband and wife who help to run the orphanage are a loving couple. They treat the children with love and respect. Since there are so many children, they celebrate their birthdays on one day. The day we were there was chosen as that special day, and the children were allowed to stay back from school. The children celebrated with pinatas, cake, ice cream and dancing.

As a group we felt that we were blessed in showing God's love to these children. We went home that day with the feeling that in helping these children for one day we changed our own understanding of God's love for us.

In a very small way this experience gave us a different perspective of what day one of the Millennium will be like. We will be serving others first as the earth recovers from all that transpired before the second coming of Christ.

This year was an exceptional Feast. Building Bridges Phoenix will plan another Feast site next year. Tamara Sampson, Glendale, Ariz.

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