Saturday, September 18, 2010

Upon my return

I have been home for one week from my third trip to Sierra Leone in the past year. It is so great to return home to so many people who sincerely ask the questions "how was your trip?" and "how are you since being home?". I feel like I always give such an inadequate answer and I truly wish I had a more to offer, but the truth is I am fine, but to quote Kay Warren, I am gloriously ruined forever. Each time I go over, I become more and more invested with every part of my being and so returning becomes more and more difficult. My children over there have learned that they can trust my love and they share more about their life and how they are truly feeling and that leads simply to my understanding that they need a forever family. This trip provided opportunities for me to truly "parent" many of the orphans that live at The Covering. It is such a blessing to be able to pour God's love into their lives and to speak truths over them. I have said this before, but what did I do to deserve such blessings in my life? If I can only give back 1/10 of what those children have done for me that will be an accomplishment!

The weeks leading up to our trip, we were busy raising funds to move to the new building. It was crazy to think we could raise $18,000 in one month, but yes we did it!! We got to see our kids living in the new center with so much more space and we were able to stay at the guest house which was only a short walk to the center. The close proximity allowed us to spend more time with the kids. The children could even see us from their third floor window. We were without electricity for much of the trip so we all put our make up on outside on the balcony. One morning we heard lots of little voices from across the way screaming "aunty, aunty". I won't lie, I would do about anything to hear that right now! We were also able to enjoy their bedtime prayer almost every night. I cannot describe what it feels like to have a child lead you into the presence of the Lord and to hear them pray for me and my life is a very humbling experience, but one that I hope all of my readers experience someday.

I continued to build my relationship with Sam, Betty and Fallah but I also developed some close relationships with other kids as well. All of these kids are amazing and I love how God can make more room in your heart for a child that might need attention that day or for the short week I was there. I can say with all honesty that I miss them and I am sad to not be with them. Thankfully, I have a family here that shares in my desire to love on these kids and the people of Sierra Leone. It would be my desire to take my entire family over to share in this experience together. Fran is ready. Malachi is more than ready since his last visit in May. McKenna says she is ready (but she is afraid of the shot). Mackaden is great as long as mom and dad are there! God willing...

This was such a special time talking with Sam. We talked about some of his dreams and things that I will remember forever. Also, some things that I will remind him of in the future!

Loved the beach with my kids!

This is Foday Kamara. Some of our very dear friends sponsor him and I LOVED getting to know him better this week. He and his brother, Suwaju, were always very close to my side. I love them both!

This is probably my favorite picture of my sweet Betty and her mother, Matilda. I can still feel the love that was in that room between all of us.

She enjoyed trying on her new clothes and I enjoyed watching her model them like every other almost 12-year-old little girl.

I just love her and I am so thankful for who she is in my life. For those of you who don't know, this is Erica and she and her husband, Jason, are the founders of The Raining Season. Oh, and she is also my cousin. (Fran would argue it's his cousin, but whatever...ask her :)

Would you look at this handsome boy. He was completing his VBS class on this day.

Seriously, this is such my happy place!

Betty and Fallah

Thank you for joining me once again on another trip to what we like to call "our second home". Please continue to pray for our family...

Love always,