Thinking through this day I honestly feel like it was more than ONE day. I mean that in the best way possible because it has been just such a full and purposeful day.
After another amazing breakfast (seriously, the food here is made with such love!) and group devotions we headed back to the outside wall at the Children's Home that we had already primed with white paint and began the task of rolling on the new yellow paint. Armed with sunblock, bottles of water and our needed painting tools we rocked out that wall as a team. There's always a work project to be done and I feel that we were blessed to be a bit of a help to the staff here by checking that sweaty task off their list. It is an honor to use the skills we have been given to help in any practical way that we can here in support of the work that is done at this home.
Lunch has been interesting this week as we have the joy of eating with the children in the home. James and Brandon stay downstairs with the boys during lunch while Tella and I have been joining the girls upstairs. It has been QUITE the experience to see how they handle serving their food, eating and interacting with each other and helping in the cleanup process with the hermanas when they are done. Also, it is unique to experience what the children are eating each day....the staff here does an awesome job in making sure these kids get tasty and balanced meals.
Then the afternoon was filled with lessons with the children! Starting with a fun game where they had to figure out how to work together to accomplish their task. Then a great lesson, this time led by James who really stepped up to practice his Spanish speaking while using the gift God has given him to teach.
Truly each person on this team has really stepped up in a lot of ways and it is a blessing to experience.
At dinner we had some time to laugh and chat again with Becky and Adam. It is so great to continue building relationships with them and everyone else, hearing their hopes and dreams for this place and how they seek after God through it all. They have such huge hearts for these kids, it's inspiring.
We also had a little time this evening to play with the children outside, which is always exhausting but FUN. Then it was time for devotions before bed, something else that is a new thing for us to be a part of on this trip. Oh it has been a BLESSING!!!
Brandon and James of course went to the boys dorms to do devotions with them while Tella, Becky (who has been MOST helpful in translating for us) and I headed upstairs to the girls dormitory for our devotions. We have been reading letters from the book His Princess to the girls along with the accompanying Bible verse.
For me, the most touching part of today was our devotion time with the girls!!!
In the younger girls' room we joined them on their bunk beds and read the letter to his little Princesses to encourage them and express Christ's love for them. It was a very special time. As Becky was translating the letter for the room I was sitting beside one little girl who had invited me over to sit with her on her bunk. She had her little arm around me hugging me and looked up at me and said "Yo Princesa?" ...basically asking if we meant SHE herself was a princess. I smiled at her and said "Si" ...that's all it took for her to smile so big, hug me tighter and direct her attention back to Becky reading the letter.
Then afterwords the little girls wanted to listen to a song so Becky picked out fun upbeat worship song and we all danced around the room having a fun time just being silly until it was time for goodnight kisses and lights out.
Then the three of us ladies headed to the older girls' room and were immediately bombarded by the waiting ambush of a pillow fight attack! hahaha!! It was glorious! Lots of laughter as the adult women were being attacked by little girls with big fluffy pillows until we found ammunition of our own! Pillows (provided by the girls who wanted us to participate of course!) AND a big over-sized mat that Becky used as a defense. Once things settled down we all sat together and read the Princess devotion. This seems especially touching to the older girls, a few of which I noticed listen quite intently to these messages.
After we were done discussing the devotion these girls also wanted a song...but it surprised me in the most pleasant of ways when I discovered they didn't desire an upbeat worship song to dance to. They wanted a softer one so Becky pulled the one they requested up on her phone, they turned off the lights and we all sat together as they sang the words to this song. A little light was coming in through the windows on the opposite side of the room just enough so I could see the girls sitting on the floor around us. Some were looking around and singing and others had their heads bowed and eyes closed.
It was an overwhelmingly beautiful moment. I'm not ashamed to admit I got a little choked up as my eyes started brimming with tears during this. I'm not sure if one girl noticed this in the dark or if she just wanted to feel connected to me. In either case, at that moment a girl scooted over to me and facing me on the floor just reached out and grabbed my arms, looked at me, and smiled as she kept singing. When we said our good nights and received hugs the girls always yell after us "Good night, I love you!!" It's incredibly sweet...
It's so hard to adequately describe such a moment, you have to live it. As these girls sang a song to their King their beautiful voices just filled that room. I was awe-struck through the whole thing.
These boys and girls come from all sorts of life scenarios and are staying in a home sharing rooms with several of their peers. I cannot stress enough to our readers how important this Children's Home is. There are always needs to be met for these children, repairs to be made in the home and countless other things that go into what the staff here do to keep this place going and improving for the sake of these children. We want to encourage ALL of you to check out more about them and let us know if you want to help in some way. They always are looking for more visitors and those willing to help with work projects like we're doing here. If you'd like to help support the work being done here even on this trip we are on it's not too late. I encourage you to connect with us and ask us about these opportunities to help! We really believe in this place and the work that God is doing through people here.
Thank you all for your love, support and prayers as always.
<3 in Christ ~Dawn