Two things struck me today. This school has so many 3-15 year old girls and boys who are the embodiment of the spirit of Jesus. Watching them sing, dance, and pray you can really see that they understand. The testimony of one of these girls was awesome. She detailed how she lost her mother at a very early age. And yet, her memories of her living conditions were pleasant (even funny) despite her desperate conditions. God brought her and her sister to Jericho. She is such an enthusiastic believer.
I can’t believe it’s only Monday. I feel like more has happened in the last few days than can ever be expressed in a lifetime. While We are here to serve and what we get are morning, nightly and all day hugs from over 30 children; teasing; playing; acceptance; and pure love. The difference in language feels barely present. We eat fantastic home cooked meals (even cookies made by the kids), listen to stories filled with heartache, suffering, joy, and Gods redeeming grace, and are inspired by those who selflessly pour themselves into these children. When these children sing – they belt it out (certainly making a joyful noise)! Today we worked all morning on painting the villa, a caregivers room, and making a path. Jay and I had to teach the first VBS for the week. We were definitely nervous but the whole team stepped in and we had a great experience. The kids were just so incredible and insightful. We then played jump rope, futbol, and any other outdoor game the kids could come up with.
Tonight 4 girls from age 6- 14 gave their testimony. I was struck by the incredible strength, vulnerability, and love as these girls shared stories we could never imagine. Their eyes and smiles said it all – they were new creations bought by the blood of Christ.
After Joani fearlessly lead the way, God shoved me off the comfortable couch with a sweet girl cuddled in my arms to share my story. I’ve never done it publicly and certainly never had it translated to another language in a room full of little faces staring me square in the eyes. Daring me to be more courageous than I had ever been.
We ended the night (before the onslaught of hugs) singing Reckless Love at the top of our voices (in English and Spanish)
We are so humbled and blessed to be here. I miss my family and my two little boys. I think of them constantly as we connect, play, and serve these kids. I am so grateful that they are so loved and well taken care of back at home. Love you Xander and Brody and our whole family!