These little kiddos are my favorite! I love hearing the tiny voices behind me sing of God's mighty grace and love. Forever sat with me during church: she's a sweetheart that whines at the tiniest accidental scratch from my finger nail and wears a ripped tank top. She is squirmy and always moving around. Her brother Drake was baptized a few weeks back at Hope Fellowship's dedication service. I love the preschoolers.
Monday, July 14:
Ahhh! I saw Rida at Kids Club!!! I haven't seen her since November. She seemed better off last summer: cleaner, more aware of things going on around her, better fed, easier to understand. She came to Kids Club late; I gave her a big hug and told her that I was so glad to see her. She mumbled something about food, how she came for the snacks. Later, during snack and story time, I asked her if she had eaten today, and she said no. She doesn't speak as clearly as many of the other kids. But I have missed that girl like CRAZY. It was such a joy to see her pop bubbles and laugh, hold her, let her lean against me during story time, paint her nails, just to see her smile.
Tuesday, July 15:
Rida came to Kids Club again! She would tug on my braid all afternoon to get my attention from her secure grip on my shoulders. Her little voice told me that she wanted me to braid her hair like mine was braided. So we found a spot in the shade: she sat; I braided. I was told later that doing someone's hair is an honor here, something that is typically only done by people that you really care about, like your family. I loved watching Rida fling her braid from shoulder to shoulder. This girl is such a joy and I'm so thankful for every minute that I can spend with her.
Rida and her sister, Azie
Wednesday, July 16:
104 degrees at Kids Club = hot. And it's even warmer when kids want you to play tag with them on your back! The attendance was low today, I felt. Leah and I did chalk and made our fingerprints on the concrete. Marcus, one that my dad played with last summer, sat with me during snack time. He would crack up upon discovering that he could blow air into his empty Capri Sun juice pouch. He blew it up and held it to my lips: "Drink it! There's lots!" I pretended to drink it, licking my lips. He's a smart little one: "No, drink it for reals!" Lucas, Marcus' younger brother, doesn't talk much, if at all. Both of them loved the sprinklers all week. The Lord is working out here, and it is so awesome to see the smiles on each little face.
Thursday, July 17:
Today was our off day, and I'm already drinking my second cup of coffee. It has been hot and busy and I feel like I'm going to be endlessly low on sleep when I live here! But sitting with those kids at Kids Club confirms that this is where the Lord wants me. I love playing with the kids and hearing them laugh as other interns and I chase each other with squealing kiddos on my back. I love letting them sit in my lap and make crafts. I love their messy faces and watching them gulp down water. These kids need Jesus.
Friday, July 18:
Anna tells me that she is five, but she looks three years old. She hardly smiled today, but she did let me pick her up for a tiny bit. She spent a good 10 minutes making a single beaded bracelet. I watched, agreeing with youth interns about the low attendance and laughing about the week. Anna just sat there, focused and silent. Her face lit up a couple of times, the first being when she finished the bracelet and put it on my wrist. I love this little one.
Saturday, July 19:
I'm multitasking twenty-four-seven, always thinking, running low on sleep, busy, tired, dirty, and out of my comfort zone, but the Lord is faithfully pouring me out for the hungry and satisfying the desires of the afflicted. He is continually showing me that this is where I'm supposed to be. It's hard, hard to see the straight faces and scars and hear the silence of oh, so many hurts. It's hard to know that there's nothing I can do except try to show them a fraction of what Christ showed me. I am not enough. I will never be enough, I can never do enough. But Christ is enough.
Today, Sunday, July 20:
The time I spent with the preschoolers this morning was so awesome. We had six kids in there today: three native children and three children of staff members. I love all of them. I love watching the missionary kids play dolls and cook in the pretend kitchen with the native girls after they are dismissed for preschool. I love seeing how each of them is artistic in his own way. Harmony puts her baby dolls to sleep. Millie and Lyddie read books together. Joey races his cars. Anna came to church, the same little one from Kids Club on Friday. She was happier today, but she still doesn't like to be held much. I was pleasantly surprised when she sat on my lap for a good portion of the service without squirming too much. She sat and played with the bracelets on my hands, one of which was the one that she had beaded for me at Kids Club. She sat quietly, fingering them and pulling the rubber band bracelet that another sweet girl, Samantha, made for me. I think it was a calming distraction for her. She played dolls so sweetly with the other girls during preschool time, sharing and laughing and taking care of her babies, cooking for them and dressing them. There are around twelve kids living in her house as of now. Her hair is tangled and her lips are either chapped or covered in lollipop or popsicle. Pray for her safety and for this little girl, along with so many others, to know that the joy of the Lord will be her strength.