Saturday, May 29, 2010

Only You God Part 2

The joy we all experienced by just being with all of the kids at The Covering quickly turned to grief as we entered the children's hospital. This hospital holds a very tender place in the heart of TRS as it was where the team in December 08 brought many of the kids they found from the other orphanage for treatment including Festus and Adama. I posted a few pictures in a earlier blog from the hospital, but as I recount that day I am once again saddened by what we saw. I work with children with special needs in the areas of speech/language/feeding in one of our local hospitals, but I have never felt as inadequate as I did that day. What could I have possible offered to the mom's of these dying children. Not from incurable disease, but from starvation and unintentional neglect. I tried to work with the caregivers on ways to best facilitate feeding, but really did it matter at this point...the baby's mom had abandoned him at the hospital over 3 weeks ago. I was devastated at this reality. I was remembering back to how excited the generous kids in Malachi's class were as they brought in jar after jar of peanut butter to put into the care packages we passed out on this day. How can I share with them that our efforts were not enough to bring joy to every person in this hospital? Please understand that our work does not go unnoticed. I watched as women paid very close attention when Malachi, Jordan and the team passed out bread, water, and these care packages just wondering if they would be overlooked. The smile that followed the presentation (even if for a short time) expresses a huge thank you to everyone who contributed to this outreach.

After a long day at the hospital, we could not wait to get back to The Covering for a dose of joy from all of these thriving children who could have at any given point in their life traded places with the children we just saw. It's only by God's grace that any of us are spared from the suffering we saw today. I continue to question why I am so lucky that it's not me they are serving instead of the other way around. What did I do to deserve my life? God help me to process this information with understanding of your grace and gratitude for my life. I have heard people say "they are used to this life" cannot do what we did today and EVER really believe that!

One of the best things for me to watch was Malachi and Jordan finding their way in a culture very far away from their own. They both jumped right in there to play soccer/football with these children whose blood flows everything "football". It shows me that kids just want the opportunity to be kids and really "playing" can cross many cultural boundaries. Many of these kids could not speak English, but put a ball down and it's a game.

Malachi shared with me that each time we passed out suckers to the kids, they would save the sticks. One day our team provided a workshop for the caregivers at the center and our boys just played in the bedrooms with the other kids and got to experience what they do when they are bored. He said they had probably 100 sucker sticks and they played a game opposite of "pick up sticks". Now anytime my kids say "I'm bored" I will say "go have a sucker and play with the stick".

I will continue to post over the next few days highlights from our trip including: the boys passing out soccer balls at Kroo Bay, a day at the beach, finding Lucy (the little girl I went to help in September), pictures of our friends sponsor kids, and a final farewell with the kids...not one I am looking forward to.

Much love and thank you for joining me on this journey with your thoughts and prayers.

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