Monday, February 15, 2010

Day 1- Kids, Kids, Kids posted by Andrew

(note from heather: Andrew was overwhelmed and forgot not to mention their names. Andrew I hope you don't mind that I edited this post accordingly. Also, I added a few clarifications in parenthesis. :) )

WOW! What an incredible and earth shattering day. I have no clue how to put today’s experience in to words. I am just going to go through our day and try to do it a small amount of justice.

We got up today, loaded up all the bags, and headed over to The Covering to meet the kids. We traveled through some desolate places that blow your mind that people actually live there. It just rips your heart out to see kids sitting in the filthy streets wearing no clothes because their parents can't afford to buy them a shirt. To see a glimpse of where the kids at the Covering came from lets you know what a blessing the raining season is to them. We drove up the hill on a dirt road that I really didn’t think our jeep would be able to climb. As soon as we approached the covering the kids were all lined up outside the gate singing a song they created just for us to tell us they were loved, happy, and saved. To hear them singing and to see the smiles on their faces after what we just drove through was incredible. They were all holding handmade signs that said things like, We love you, Thank you, Welcome Uncle Andrew. When a picture becomes real it is a pretty special moment. We then went upstairs where they had a program prepared for us that included several songs and speeches from the staff. TRS has an AMAZING staff that love these kids dearly. Quami may have impressed me the most. He is their country director that runs the orphanage. He is an incredibly professional, kind, efficient, aware, and hardworking man. To see him practice discipline with the kids and staff and in the next moment reach down and give a toy back to a baby shows that he is an incredibly capable man. After the program we got to spend some time with the kids just hugging and laughing and holding hands. I can't tell you what a wonderful feeling it is to be holding a child, talking to another, and have another sneak up behind you and grab your other hand because they just want to experience your touch. God moves his resources around to accomplish his perfect means. He moved his money around to get a lot of this team here. He moved us to this place so that these kids could feel his love, his touch, his hands, and his words. What sweet, joyous, lovable, funny kids these are. It is a joy to see them get to grow down a little bit and get to experience childhood; something a lot of them missed.

The kids had to go to class so during that time we had a meeting with Osseh, Quami, and Pastor Kevin to give us a run down of the Covering’s daily schedule, summary of the war, lesson and the culture, and a Q&A session. After lunch we headed out to La CaCa hospital to visit Sam, Betty, and Fallah’s mom Matilda. She is a very sick woman. She is in a TB hospital being treated. We spent some time praying with her, encouraging her, and letting her know that her kids will have a permanent home if anything should happen to her. It was a sobering experience being there. It kind of puts health care in the US in perspective.

After visiting with Matilda we went back to the Covering and sorted out all 12 huge bags of donations for the kids. We had school supplies, shoes, clothes, toys, and medicine that just filled the room we were in to overflowing. During this time we traded out playing games with the kids and of course taking a million pictures. The kids love to “get snapped” as they call it. We then brought the kids up to the room to give them the stuff. They each got a new pair of shoes, clothes, a toy, and a water bottle. It was like Christmas morning times 10. Once again, it kind of puts things in to perspective. We then spent about 2 hours playing with the children and getting to know their stories. Communication is pretty hard because they talk very quickly and assume that you understand every word.(they speak creole-part of which is English)

I want to share 1 story that is pretty special to me. We have been praying that God would be preparing these kids for us even before we knew who they were. We were praying that he would let them know that there would be a home out there someday for them. He has shown us who he has prepared for us and it was reconfirmed today with a conversation with one of the children we are hoping to adopt. After the initial meeting of the kids we were all milling around and I noticed that he was standing off by himself. I walked over there, bent down, and gave him a hug and just started talking with him. I didn’t think he could understand much of what I was saying, but I just talked anyway. These kids do not know at all that we are planning on adopting them. We are not going to tell them until the country opens up and it is a possibility. We are currently sponsoring him so I wanted him to know that I was the one he wrote his letter to so he could put a face with a name. I told him that we loved him, were praying for him, and that I loved his letter. He turned to me and said, “I know, I love you, you are my father.” I dropped down to my knee and started crying like a baby. Every time I think of that or think about his brother finally warming up to me or seeing their sister laugh when I tickle her I know that God has prepared us for them and them for us. They already feel like they are my own children and I can’t wait for Heather to meet them.

I want to encourage you all to find a way to help these kids. They come from situations you can hardly imagine and are in desperate need of saving. God is transforming lives on this trip and I can't wait to get back to share more picture and video. Please forgive the lack of pictures. Bandwidth is very small here. Please be praying for tomorrow; we have a meeting with the social minister and God will need to move mountains(for adoptions to open up). Thank you all…

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