You see the shoeboxes. You even fill boxes and send them to a kid. You see pictures of smiling kids with their boxes. But I never really thought my kids would have the opportunity to give out the boxes to kids!
We got up Wednesday, had breakfast at New Missions and then got on the bus and traveled down the bumpy roads to the main road and then traveled up a mountain to a special village. This particular school and clinic and church were built in honor of our Pastor and his family as part of a great giveback for his 25th anniversary of pastoring First Baptist Woodstock.
When we finally got up the mountain, the truck drove some of our group up and some of us walked up a steep hill. Along the way, we met a little girl who walks an hour to school.
When we got up to the village I saw a sea of yellow because that is their uniform color and the color of the school building. I took pictures of kids and then showed them the picture. They loved that. Mack got a bit overwhelmed at this point because he was being touched. They were rubbing his head also. He is just so white and his hair is blond-ish, so they were intrigued. He, once again, asked me if we could I home right now. BUT, soon enough he was able to hand out three spoons each to the kids, which he liked…though later he told me that it didn’t seem right to just give them three spoons. “I mean, what about the forks and knives. Sometimes you need something other than a spoon!” he said. It didn’t really process with him that when you eat rice and beans for most every meal, a spoon will do.
The ladies were encouraged to wear a skirt or pants to the village. The night before when I picked out the girls’ dresses from the suitcase, Ruby said, “What’s the talk about a dress code? I saw a lady without a shirt on today!” She had seen an older lady sitting on the ground washing something in a bucket, shirtless, earlier in the day so she couldn’t understand why it mattered what we wore. 🙂
And OFCOURSE, Molly found a baby to hold. It was a top priority for her.
We walked back down the hill to the bus. And not to over-spiritualize this, but we walked down different. It’s like with every step and every person you looked eye to eye with and every gift that was given and with every hug and every smile and every smell and every sight, God was using them to shape my own heart and also the hearts of my kids.
Molly rode down with Josh on the truck…and all the way through town and back into New missions.
We had lunch and then went back out to the high school in town and to the Bible Training Center where we were able to pray as the building was dedicated to The Lord.
This picture above is Mack with Charlie. He was such a great host! He let us play with his dog and eat his popcorn and made special mango juice just for us. And he even let the kids swim in his pool! I forgot to get a picture of that, but I’ll try to get one from my friend, Sheryll. She was kind enough to stay with the kids and let them swim later this day so Josh and I could take a ride out to a church. The kids loved swimming in December!
At the Bible Training Center, we had the wonderful opportunity to meet our sponsor kid, Dewensky. We were so excited!
We learned (through a translator) where he lived, which isn’t far from where we were staying at New Missions. We smiled at him, gave him gifts, played ball, hugged him and sat with him. He was just precious. He has four older sisters and a younger brother. I know my kids will take writing him more seriously, and I am sure their prayers for him will change as well. Ruby said she wanted to cry when he left us.
What a day. I’m so humbled that we got to meet Dewensky and his dad. I laid in bed later that night and tried to imagine where Dewensky lived…what his bed (if he has one) felt like, what his baths were like, what kind of food he ate, what kind of thoughts rolled around his sweet little head….and I could hear my own little kiddos breathing right next to me in the cottage. I know their world and where they live and what they wear and what they eat and the toys in their rooms and the resources at their disposal. I’m reminded of how blessed we are…again. And I’m reminded we aren’t blessed to bless ourselves. We weren’t brought here to just meet him and go back to our happy, blessed worlds. It should change us all. It should make a mark on us that changes how we do everything, really. And I believe it did.
There is more….can’t wait to share the last bit.