Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Day 1-3

So many things to absorb here over past days. Some stories...

As we drive into Fiwagoh we come up to a huge gate. We can't see over the the wall, but through the van window you can hear the voices of children cheering and singing a welcome song.

As the sound of sweet voices turns to the sight of beautiful smiling faces I am overwhelmed with emotion and joy. The journey to this place and the months of expectantly waiting to look upon these children overcomes our team and the tears that will last the week flow.

As I step out of the van I am surrounded by a sea of 180 children and can barely move. And it begins. Hands slip into mine and smiles are everywhere as I begin hugging and loving on children. The entire time we are here downtime is spent talking with and touching children. At first I cannot believe how many children are touching me as we walk anywhere. But within minutes it becomes the feeling that I will long for the most when I leave this place. The touch of children who long for love.

After making lion pillows with my monkey team and talking about Daniel and Gods provision and protection (which let me tell you is much harder to teach here than to any other children I have shared those words with over the years.) we go out to the field to play with 180 kids!

Amber and I spend time with a group of girls playing some type of ultimate frisbee/rugby with a soccer ball. At first they are timid to run and play just like American teen girls, but before long they are running hard, very aggressive, and they are good!

After getting winded and twisting my ankle tons of times in the large holes in the ground, I sit down next to two young girls who are reading. They want to read me a story and start reading Esther from a bible story book. As she is reading a little one comes up and points to my bag and says, "That is my name". (the bag I carry here is another story). I am so caught off guard I am not able to speak and stumble through, "What is your name?" And sitting in this field, with a magnificent landscape backdrop I hear the words, "My name is Gaby." Beautiful gift.

On the way up to bed and 17 year old Emma Jane pulls me aside and asks if I can give her some advice about being a teacher. We spend time alone (very unusual here) as I am able to encourage her in her faith and hear her dreams for her future. Such a sweet friend.

Worship at Fiwagoh is every morning and evening and indescribable. The children lead singing and their voices raised in worship to God are beautiful. I recorded sounds to share because it was so amazing. Then a young person (they call them seniors) preaches and it is truth told boldly. Amazing! We heard 4 different youth and they were all wow!

One day we spend visiting new ministries to see if they are places VO wants to return and partner with them.

More about that in nxt post!

God brings joy and healing here in Africa. This place is filled with more hope than any place on earth and they lack so much. The last time I felt this much God was holding Gaby as she entered God's presence. Being in this place is a blessing. Going so fast. Soaking it all in.

- Posted from my iPhone

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