Saturday, May 29, 2010
Only You God
Only you God can show your grace in the middle of such devastation. I am going to attempt to share our trip in an effort to express and process the love, joy, pain, heartache, excitement, and yes devastation we have felt over the past two weeks. Only you God can change my life so drastically over the course of less than a year that when I look back to last May, my life is hardly recognizable as compared to today. Only you God can share in our pain as we watch starving babies dying as their mothers sit by and watch. Only you God can can bring hope to Sam, Betty and Fallah as they look deep into my eyes to see if what I am saying is real and true. Only you God can reveal characteristics of strength, courage and compassion within my son, Malachi that the realities of a third world country could bring out of him. Only you God can make it so evident for me to see that this place in my life you have brought me to of traveling to Africa and knowing I have 3 more kids there was perfectly designed by YOU. Only you God can fill these three holes in my heart that were created upon leaving my children across the world from me. Only you God can bring all of these pieces together that look like chaos and devastation and strategically place them to create our beautiful life. Please take a look back now at our journey on my second trip to Sierra Leone.
Oh, the airport...We had 18 bags of luggage to be checked from Springfield all the way to Freetown. We were only over 9 bags and over the weight limit on everyone of them. I was so stressed out before we ever left, but we made it and of course I got stopped by security.
It is such a long journey, but so worth it. I had prayed very hard that Malachi would be able to handle the long, long flights because anyone who knows him would realize that he doesn't sit still EVER so to expect him to sit still for 24 hours of travel seemed impossible. We had not even left the runway from the Chicago airport and he is beginning a melt down. He says his throat hurts and guess what he is running a fever...WHAT...no, we are going to be on this plane for the next 8 hours. His sister had strep throat just prior to our leaving and so after much prayer and a handy extra antibiotic I packed, he slept the entire first leg and I never heard another word about it. The above picture is on the helicopter after leaving the Freetown airport. He was a great little traveler and I'm a little scared of how much like me he is...he kept us entertained to say the least.
I believe this might have been one of the most joyful experiences I have ever had. Betty held a sign greeting "mom Lori" and Fallah held a greeting for "brother Malachi". I would have traveled another 24 hours just to feel that again.
The kids were so happy to see us, but I could tell they were not 100% sure if it was ok to let their love pour out. They didn't smile for every picture and didn't wrap their arms around tightly...yet! The reason Betty is smiling in the above picture is because I caught her hiding and watching me...I'm sure she was just trying to figure out how this "mom from America thing works".
My first impression of Sam, Betty and Fallah was WOW! I was totally amazed and speechless at how charismatic their personalities are and what leaders they are. I want to share some very special video that demonstrates what I am referring to.
Yes, I realize you are crying as you watch that, too! Only you God!
This is of course Sam playing and singing for Fallah to dance. Fallah does not say much, but he is so expressive...reminds me a lot of Fran! (once again, only you God)