This morning we boarded an empty bus, bumping along to Camp El Har. The kids loaded one by one onto the bus until it was overflowing. I sat in the back watching little brown heads bob up and down on the way.
After a wonderful church service, my parents went with Uncle Reuben and Auntie Florence for lunch, and I went back to the Camp with the kids. Oh we were sneaky! Today is my parent's 28th wedding anniversary, so I came up with a plan to have a surprise party for them with the kids.
So we went back to prepare while the married folks went for lunch. I went with some of the kids and Shamila (one of the aunties at the home) to buy sodas from down the road. The cake had been delivered the night before.
Shamila took the lead in putting together a program and put Eva in charge of directing the whole program. They practiced some songs and even put in my parents names and that it was their 28th anniversary.
The kids were so excited. I'm not sure if it was because it was our parent's anniversary, or if it was because we got to have a party with cake and sodas...
When they arrived the kids brought out the cake and yelled, "SURPRISE!" They started off with praise and worship, did some special songs, asked all of the adults to speak, and enjoyed our cake.
But the day had many mixed feelings. Since we are leaving for Igamba tomorrow and the kids will go on break and visit their families before we get back, this was the last day we had to spend with them. Some of the kids expressed their thanks to us for our love for them. It was hard to keep my composure.
If you haven't already picked up on this we love those kids so much! So it was very hard to say good bye. We've been here for a week and a half so far and already we've connected with these kids. There was a girl that was new this year. She came to Camp El Har earlier this year so we hadn't ever seen her before. She was very unsure of us at first. She was shy and would hide her face when we looked at her. After a few visits, she really warmed up to us. All I needed to do was look at her and she would smile so big. I would come sit next to her and she would be so happy. But when we said good bye today, she hugged each of us and then walked off and stood by herself, head hanging low. She was sad we were leaving.
The kids have said to us that they love us as their own family. They love my dad as their own dad, my mom and their mother, and me as their sister. And those are not just words. You can see on their faces that it's the truth.
I was trying to upload some pictures for you. The internet here is on African Time...
We're off to pack to leave for Igamba tomorrow. You won't hear much from us for a while (I don't think) but we thank you for your continued prayers. Pray that the Lord will give us strength for every day, and that God will use us in a mighty way as we minister to the people there.
Tomorrow some of the Dorcas ladies will join us in Igamba just for the day to do door to door evangelism. We've done home visitation and presented the Gospel to people, but never at this level with people from AMG spread out, traveling around, and sharing the Good News. So please pray that the Lord will open the hearts of the people we will speak to.