Sunday, August 16, 2015

Tuesday: finally some kids!

Tuesday was an extremely full day, beginning with a visit to a homeless shelter. We got a tour of the facilities before we headed out to the courtyard, where Dawnielle gave a sermon to the men assembled there waiting for a meal. After the sermon, we gave them lunch, and then spent some time talking to and praying for them.

One of the workers asked me and my camera to come with him into the shelter, where there were women packing up bags of food for families in need. He wanted me to take pictures of the women working inside, which I was happy to do. I was joined shortly by several of the other girls on our team, who began helping pack the bags.

After the men were all gone, we headed out and went to a store to buy snacks for a day care that we were about to go to in a very poor area. The store was owned by a Christian, so we walked the aisles and prayed for God's favor for the store and the owners.

Once we were equipped with snacks for the kids, we headed off to the day care and after-school program. This was the first time we got to play with kids, and everyone instantly fell in love. Matt and Clay started running races, carrying as many kids as they could, and crawling across the room with kids clinging to their backs. Julie took an interest in two shy boys who wouldn't respond much at first. Jenna found a little sad-looking boy and poured some love into him, while Jenny scooped up a quiet little girl and cradled her in her lap. Singing and games of Duck, Duck, Goose ensued, and all around that room, hearts were full.

We were pulled away from that room far too soon, and they took us to a small, shoddy shack that was a church building in this poor community. We spent time praying over the space and for the community, and then talked to kids outside as they walked home from school. 

After that, we went back to the day care to hang out with the older kids in their chapel. We sang some songs with them, talked to them with what little understanding we had of each other, and played with them. There was one little girl with a baby strapped to her back, and upon asking about it, I was told that many children are basically raised by their older siblings because both parents (or the mothers if the fathers are not around) have to work so much there simply isn't any time to spend with their children.

Having spent only a small amount of time with those children and longing for more, we had to head back to the conference center for dinner, and we took in the sites of the community around us. 

That night featured the most beautiful sunset I have ever seen, and I was lucky to get a few gorgeous pictures of it.

Next we were taken to Maranatha church for their young adult Bible study. It was nice to be there, but we were all so tired and still had to pack for the long drive to Embo the next day. 

It had been a long day filled with activity and emotion.  

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