I’m letting my sister, Rachel, words take over my blog today & tomorrow. It was an absolute JOY to get to serve in Africa alongside of her on my last Visiting Orphans trip. I was so excited that she came & I loved sharing a room with her every night 😉 She is a beautiful & compassionate person. This is part of the email she sent to her supporters when we got back. She says it so well.
For those of you getting ready to expierence Africa on a mission trip for the first time…..read her words & be prepared to fall in love with the people of Africa.
I have so much to say, but I can’t seem to find the right words. Even if there were the “right words” to say, I can hardly grasp it all in my own head. So, hear it goes…..
I’m sitting here heartbroken to be back with those children I fell in love with. Those children, who have seen things and experienced things that we may never comprehend. Those children, despite everything they’ve been through are happy! THEY ARE HAPPY! How can that be? How can they be happy? How can they praise God? Shouldn’t they be mad at God for not giving them a better life? These are the questions I asked myself while I was there. But NO, they aren’t mad. They love God and trust him completely. They don’t have the everyday distractions we face, so they completely rely on Him. What if we lived so simply? I wish I could… I admire the orphans we saw. I admire the way they live by faith. I’ve been emailing with Alysse, a 17 year old orphan living at Noel Orphanage in Rwanda. She says that she is happy to have the opportunity to be protected by God’s hands when I told her I would be praying for her everyday. Isn’t that amazing! I’m also amazed by the people who work in the orphanages. The nannies who take care of the babies, the cooks, the directors. They all have incredible hearts for those children.
Emmanuel, 15 years old and living at Noel Orphanage gave me the bracelet he was wearing, one of his few worldly possessions and told me not to forget him, and that God would bring us together again one day. I could never forget him and look forward to the day I’m reunited with him and all the other children I completely fell in love with.
Three little boys in-particular stole my heart, Tanazi, Anana, and Weindmagen.
I walked around for 2 days with Anana (11) and Tanazi (10) at Noel. They didn’t speak a word of English, but the almighty power of love brought us together, there didn’t even need to be words exchanged. Just the feel of a touch was enough. To look into their eyes was enough. A smile was enough, to know that the love was there and that it was real. At the end of the second day as we were preparing to leave, Anana (who was happy by my side for 2 days) started getting distant, until he finally ended up running away from me. I followed him, calling his name, wondering what I had done wrong, why had I upset him so much? Then I found him sitting alone behind a building, and he was crying. My poor boy was crying, and he was crying because I was leaving. I hadn’t realized until that moment why I was there, and how much he actually LOVED ME! I also just realized that the saying “I need Africa more than Africa needs me” is so completely true! My heart was breaking for Anana, and I cried for the next few hours after I had to leave him. All they want is to know that they are loved, but isn’t that what everyone wants? I left a huge piece of my heart in beautiful Rwanda, and dream about the day I get to return.
I met Weindmagen (11) in Ethiopia. He lives in Korah, which is home to outcasts, lepers, and the homeless. He’s precious and I got the pleasure of spending a day and a half with him. His smile was so contagious and he was always laughing, I think at me, but that’s ok because we were being really goofy. He cried too when I wasn’t with him, and it broke my heart to see him crying. I know though that one day I will be back and I pray that we would be reunited.
There you have it friends. tomorrow I”ll post one of her stories from our time in Korah!