Just being here for us is such a blessing because we are learning to appreciate so many more things. Let me share with you some of the things that bring us pleasure. Waking up this morning was great: the power was back on and there was water. Being greeted with "Aunt Anne" from the yard of the primary school as I walked past by lots of children who were waving madly. Meeting a young girl I am getting to know, Priscilla, and as she walked with me, she sang a song "I'm special". I thought yes you are and you have made my day special. The hand of friendship being extended to me by a lady who is part of Women of Hope (and also the related English class) who speaks very little English and asks for nothing, despite needing much. Being able to chat with Anita and my mum and dad on Skype. Making Anzac biscuits and having people really appreciate them. The fun of being able to go with a young guy down to the lake to buy fish, fresh from the fisherman. Eating that fish for dinner. Being loved by the children of the village, watching them play on the swings, them running to greet you and helping them with their homework. These are just some of the parts of today and it is different, because each day is, but each day brings similar experiences. Do not think there are not frustrations, there are, we are desperate to get the next group of children into the village and this seems to be taking longer - please pray. Overall though there is such joy in each day.
Fish being scaled by Nick for us for dinner (I did do some of the work):
We are learning to appreciate things because that is what is being modelled for us. On Saturday we went into town with two of the girls and Mama Loyce. The main purpose was to buy bras for the girls but we also managed to buy some handkerchiefs - one each of the children. We came home and they were given to the children. I thought little of it, they each needed a handkerchief , especially as some are suffering from the start of school coughs and colds. However, to my great surprise I was continuously greeted with "Thank you", "Thank you so much Aunt Anne"... Remember, it was a 35 cent handkerchief that we are talking about. They appreciated receiving something new. I don't think I have ever been thanked so sincerely for something so small. Or, the sharing without having to be told. There are a few colouring- in books. To me, as a mother, I wondered what we would do, there definitely weren't enough for each child to have one. How silly of me, sharing is no problem. There is no ownership, it is a colouring-in book and if one is 'shading', then another might join them but there will be no fight. They are normal children there are squabbles but so much of life is about the whole community and caring for each other.
Here are Sharon, Deborah and Rachel enjoying 'shading':
Yesterday, we had the privilege of being able to give out mosquito nets to the Women of Hope. We had enquired of Judith, the leader would it be appropriate, with the number of cases of malaria we were aware of. She said that would be fantastic. So, 60 mosquito nets later we handed them out yesterday. The joy that it gave these ladies was enormous. There was singing "Weebale Jesu" or "Thank you Jesus". Some were dancing with a mosquito net balanced on their head. I would love to show you pictures - sorry we didn't take photos. It certainly is something that Ron and I will never forget. The gratitude was enormous and it was great to be able to share God's love in this way with these ladies.
This is Ibra with an old zip end and an elastic band - lethal weapon
The swings give the children from the village, neighbouring children and visiting children great pleasure.