Sunday, May 30, 2010
Glimpse of Glory
Each day that we were in Sierra Leone we were faced with a multitude of emotions, but as I look back on each encounter I can see those small glimpses of glory in the middle of a whirlwind. The one I would like to share first is Fallah's birthday. He was the only one of the three kids that we were unsure of his birth date. Mckenna was really anxious to know because she wanted to know who was older and she just turned eight on April 29th. I asked Fallah on our first day when his birthday was and he told me on May 21st he was going to turn eight! Not only did I learn of my son's birth date, but I was going to be with him on his birthday! For those who know me well, you understand that I really enjoy my children's birthday celebrations so to have the chance to provide Fallah with his FIRST birthday party/cake was amazing to me. The 21st was our beach day so I arranged for Osseh to pick up a cake (to feed 100 people) on our way. After we enjoyed fresh lobster and mango from the mango tree on the beach (which was another great moment) we celebrated Fallah's life and sang to him the "Birthday Song". Malachi was included in this celebration as his birthday was the following Friday and I must say that I was a happy mama. Fallah was unsure of how to respond, but I thought Betty and Sam were going to come out of their skin with excitement for him. I know Fallah was super excited though because the next day I met their sister Olive and the first thing he told her was that he had his first birthday cake.
I believe the smile says it all...on both of our faces!
This is the cake which fed all of the children and staff.
This is the lobster and mango...Erica says that she doesn't eat things that look like it could eat her first. She is not afraid to open a children's center across the world, but she is afraid of this lobster and a few lizards in our room. I just ate my lobster! :)
This beach day turned out to be one of my favorite days for sure. Typically I would be so disappointed if it rained on a day I was planning a beach outing, but in Africa it was very much a blessing! The kids didn't care so neither did I. My last experience in Sierra Leone, when I first met Sam, Betty and Fallah, they were not able to have any kind of childhood so compared to this day when I watched them be kids and play was a wonderful experience. I saw Sam, who was so serious last time just trying to find survival for he and his siblings, play soccer and play in the water with all of the other kids. I watched as he laughed and pretended with Malachi and Jordan. I taught Betty how to do cartwheels and we introduced American football. I played soccer with the girls and it was such a happy day.
I cannot speak of "glimpses of glory" and not mention little Lucy! For those of you who followed my last trip, you will recall that Lucy was the little girl that actually sealed the deal for me to travel. I was going to help transport the blankets that McKenna and her group had made for The Covering and I was going to provide some communication support for Lucy who exhibits some disabilities. Given the nature of our last trip I really was never able to make much of a difference with Lucy other than provide love and attention to a little girl who otherwise sat on a carpet unattended. On one day this trip we were able to see Lucy! There is no reason why this little girl should even be alive much less interacting and remembering who I was. No reason other than the grace of God that is! The condition we left her in last time was so desperate and I was sure that I would never see her again. Lucy has a wonderful family here in the United States that loves and supports her, but I know must also pray for her continually. I got to see Lucy stand and clap with the other kids, reach out to hug my neck and even vocalize as we played together.
Thank you Lord...for ALL of your blessings!