The highlight of this trip for me thus far has been the noticeable change in the children. We have seen their personalities come to life. Mercy, who has normally been stoic and reserved, is now excited to jump in and play. We have discovered that William is the trouble maker of the group, but he has become comfortable enough to allow that personality to come out. Emmanuelle (Muoo) is much less defensive and aggressive towards the other kids. You can see he is feeling so much more secure since his first day last week. He is also a great dancer. He joined the dance team at the church and jumped right in the first week (Click here to watch IMG_2866). When the children first came, Dorcas was the most behind developmentally – physically, emotionally, and mentally. She was very sick (bloated belly, worms, sores on her body). She had a harder time playing and participating with the other kids and was having a hard time in school. She is now healthy, her coordination has improved, and she’s much more confident to play. She is also doing well in school.
Taylor and Vanessa have played with the kids nearly every day from late afternoon until evening. They have organized boys vs girls soccer matches, taught the kids jump rope, and played frisbee and hacky sack. We have prayed for God to do a work of inner healing and restoration of innocence and we have seen God begin to answer those prayers through joy and playfulness. This is the most joy and freedom I have seen from the children on any trip. I have loved every opportunity to join in on the soccer games and jump rope. Usually around 7PM Momma Esther walks out, says a few words, and the kids quit playing and start running to clean up, eat, and do their homework.
We introduced guacamole to the family a few nights ago, so now the kids and the family are hooked. It has become a staple for our meals together. It’s such a joy to see the kids and the family feel more comfortable with us. Less and less we feel like guests and more and more like family.
Yesterday Taylor and Vanessa led another women’s meeting. They continued to share on forgiveness. Many of the women responded in repentance and tears, allowing the Lord to deliver them and heal past wounds. These girls have done an amazing job on this trip, ministering not just to the people in the church meetings but everywhere they go. Tonight they are at Sha’s school meeting with the girls there.
Tomorrow is another busy day, our last full day here before flying out on Sunday. I’ll try to send out another update before we take off. Thank you so much for your prayers. We have really felt God’s grace on this trip in a unique way.