I am not sure why this feeling of joy has been so overpowering lately, but I love it! I still get homesick. There are still days where I cannot fathom all the needs of the people. But the joy just makes me know even stronger that this is where I should be. I want to share a few moments from the last week that have made me take a step back and see the pure joy – moments that have made me do everything possible to try and keep happy tears from flowing:
Before our afternoon preschool class started one day, I was helping the kids walk down the stairs. Without anyone prompting them, they started counting (in correct order!) as they jumped from one step to the next. All I could think, while smiling was, “Okay good…they are actually learning something in class.”
Our oldest student, a seven- year- old, used to be one of the shyest kids I have ever seen. It took three months of me talking to him every Sunday at church for him to even answer my question with a gesture. He would never join the other kids in playing games and just sat quietly with his brother in the background. Since he started in our class, he has come alive! Now every morning he leads all the kids in singing songs before class and he is always smiling. It is like he finally feels like he can act like a child.
Friday was a holiday here, so I took eight of the kids from the children’s home out to play arcade games and eat ice cream at the mall. When we got home, the kids asked if they could wash my car. They always think it is horrendous that I never get it washed, so I said “Yes.” They had a great time and of course it ended in a full out water fight. It was just the simplest joy for the kids to help serve me by washing my car.
Grace, who runs things for us here in Malaybalay, told me last week (while laughing) that a lot of the moms of my preschool had a common complaint about our program. Their complaint was that the kids’ uniforms are starting to not fit, because their kids are getting fed too much. This is one of the best things I have ever heard! It is amazing that we get to feed these little ones nutritious meals and snacks so they can grow strong and healthy. So yes, I hope we will have to get new uniforms because the ones they have get too tight. I will gladly pay to have more uniforms made, since that means our kids’ bodies are being nurtured well.
Through all these moments, I just thank God for the amazing life he has given me and for all the amazing people he has put in it! I am truly blessed to be able to live this crazy and wonderful life. I also wanted to list a few prayer requests on this blog.
- A sibling group of three at our children’s home has all of their adoption paper work completed and are now just waiting to be matched with a family! (when I heard this…well actually typing this now too, I can’t help but choke up because it makes me so happy to think that these sweet three kids that I have come to love could have a forever family). Their ages are 13, 10, and 7. Please pray for a family for them.
- My personal health. Some of you may know that I have struggled with Chronic Lymes Disease for a few years now. I was doing really well for a while but the last month has been pretty bad which makes having so much to do really hard. Please pray that the new medications start to help soon.
- Building and school accreditation. We almost have the go ahead to start construction on the new school classrooms! We are also in the process of applying under the Department of Education so we will be accredited to have a kindergarten next year. Please pray for funding of the building and a smooth process to get our accreditation for next school year.