Thursday, June 28, 2012

Prayer written by Beth and Fun written by Debbie

My word for the day is Prayer. We spent yesterday morning at a home for physically and mentally handicapped children and the afternoon at the home for sick and dying children. It was awesome to hold, cuddle, feed, play with and love the children. But at times you couldn't communicate with a child or get to every child to hold, so in those moments all I could do was put my hand on them and pray for them. So grateful for the moments I had to spend with each precious child of God! And it was so fun to watch Emily hold sick babies and Katie, who fell in love with a "precious" (her word of the day) little baby girl, that she held most of the afternoon.

Written by Beth Tastad

Today Nick (one of our drivers/translators) asked me if I had fun. I had to think for a minute because "fun" is not the first word that I would use to describe the places we visited today. For as much Fun as water truck days are, Gertrude's and the Children's Home are borderline the exact opposite. Don't get me wrong, I love going to both places, but my mindset entering today was one of preparing for battle: somewhat guarded, expecting the worse, "just survive".

We took balloons for balloon animals to Gertrude's - the pumps didn't work, the kids chewed on the balloons, and the ones Danny did manage to inflate via lungs of steel popped within about 15 minutes. Yup, expect the worse. But then I was able to take a moment to see the team members that were with me - REALLY SEE them. Logan giving piggy back rides to boys twice his size. Danny swinging with kids on his lap. Sophie pushing kids on bikes. Beth reading to a boy that didn't speak English. Olivia playing "soccer". Katie pushing kids on swings. Emily holding one kid after another. Each person's face was beaming, radiating joy.

This afternoon my group went to the Children's Home for the Sick and Dying - a place that ripped my heart wide open a year ago on my first trip and continues to do so with each return visit. I was able to hold the same boy for much of the time today and I quickly realized that he was "my boy". He was somewhat of an instigator/trouble-maker - pinching the girl next to him and then playing innocent, popping the other kids' bubbles (literally since we had taken bubbles along for blowing) - but oh how he loved to giggle. Everything was funny, including my attempts at talking Creole with him. I loved tickling him simply to hear him giggle. And as prepared for battle as I was, the more he giggled, the more I giggled, and then he'd giggle more, until soon the only language we needed was laughter.

The one thing that was evident at both places was the hopeful looks in the each child's eyes as we entered the room and walked past their cribs. They desperately craved the loving touch and hugs that they knew we could give them. My hope and prayer tonight is for each of those precious little ones to know and experience the only true Hope that one can have, of everlasting love and hugs with their proud Father.

Written by Debbie Peterson

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