Jambo rafiki (hello friends)! Thank you thank you thank you for praying when Taylor asked you to! It made a difference! Florence got out of the hospital yesterday! Our prayers were answered! She’s starting to walk a little better which means she is slowly getting her strength back. Turns out she had Malaria and she let it go on for too long before getting treated. She is staying on the medicine for a little longer and still needs help around the house, but she is on a healing path. God is good and powerful. Thanks so much for praying for her! Yesterday we went out to visit Wasso’s family. Taylor and I bought them a goat, and Ed and Brenda brought them a big box of food. We sat and chatted for a little while with them and then they fed us. Taylor went with Kasavubu to get the goat before Ed, Brenda, and I came, so he got there early. He got to play some games with the kids, and I guess he had a blast. They really took a liking to him. They also kept asking when we were coming over to do our bonding. Ed and Brenda talked to the Mama (I’m not sure what her name is..) and it turns out we are still going there next week. The oldest son is coming over to talk with us about the week tomorrow afternoon (as he is now the Patriarch of the family). We’ll get things squared away. I’m excited for it. I think God has gotten me over whatever I was scared of about the bonding. Except for the GIANT spiders they have in the trees right in front of the house. I’m still scared of those. And not just one or two, there’s a zillion. Literally. One zillion. I counted. But really, if that’s my only worry, God has worked wonders. I was not looking forward to the bonding, but now I am. I think it’s because this family is hurting, and I think Taylor and I will be able to help them out around the house and be with the kids and things. I keep praying that God will help us to minister to the family while we’re there. I got to sit in with Brenda the other day at a meeting she had at Tracy’s Heart. That was an emotionally heavy time. We sat with each of the ladies as they told us their stories and we figured out what they needed. Please pray for these hurting women. A lot of their stories are similar, but all SO awful. They were happy in their homes with gardens, their husbands, and their kids, and then it was all taken away when soldiers came. If their husband wasn’t killed, he left. Then the ladies are raped by soldiers, often multiple soldiers. Sometimes in front of their kids, sometimes they are taken out to the jungle for a while. It’s just awful. Especially to meet these women and see the hurt as they tell their stories. Just to see them have to relive it all over again in their mind would break anyone’s heart.
After they told their stories, we talked to them to see what was most important for them at this time, whether it be to pay the rent on their houses, to help get their kids in school, or to train them to start their own small business. After we figured out that one lady needed help finding a place for her and her kids, she told us what she really needed right away was a change of clothes for her kids and some blankets. Her kids get so cold at night, and they only have each other to keep warm. I can’t even imagine. Monday the ladies are coming here to get clothes and blankets. We have some in storage for that very purpose. Please, please pray for all of these women. They are so wounded and broken. I love it when Brenda tells them what can done for them, and watching their eyes fill up with tears and their faces just light up at the small amount of hope that they get. God is at work here and it is such an encouragement to see it.
|Blowing bubbles with the orphanage kids|
We went to the orphanage on Tuesday. That was awesome. I loved it so much. It was a three hour drive there, which was really, really rough. The road was a typical Congolese dirt road the whole way. We went way up into the mountains; it was a beautiful drive. We stopped a few times to take pictures. We stopped on the way to get bananas for the kids, which I guess is something Holly does every time she goes. They just expect it now. We got there and gave all the kids a banana each, then Dwayne (a potential daddy to one of those kiddos) gave each of them a toy car. They just LOVED those. We got to play with them with their new cars for a little while, then we all went outside to play. Taylor got to play soccer with some of the kids with a new kabumbu (ball). They enjoyed that for a while. Then we just got to love on them. They don’t hardly get touched or held, so we made sure to hug them and hold them a lot. I also spent a lot of time in the baby room. Ugh. I loved them. They were just so sweet. And they all needed some lovin’. All of the kids had bad scabies and some of them had ring worm on their heads. So sad. We had to come home and shower right away and wash our clothes. Holly brought some medicine for the mamas at the orphanage and told them how to use it on the kids. It was a lot of fun, but sad at the same time. I really want those kids to find loving families to be with, and not just be forgotten orphans.
The youth conference that was supposed to be held today has been postponed. It has been moved to next Friday, because the people who are coming to it and running it have already taken off too many days this week for Wasso’s funeral and the three days following. Just goes to show you how great of a man Wasso was. Things to pray for: - Continue to keep Wasso’s family in your prayers. It was such a great loss for them. - The women at Tracy’s Heart. Pray for complete healing and that they get their lives back together. - I have come down with a cold. I’m doing everything I can to take care of it, but it would really be a pain to have it next week. The last thing those 12 kids need is for a muzungu to bring a cold with her to spread around. If I am still sick when the time comes, I don’t want to risk the chance for spreading it, and probably won’t go. Please pray for healing. - Our internship is coming to an end. Pray that God can still use us these last two weeks, and pray that we stay focused on his work, rather than focusing too much on going back home. Thank you so much for all the prayers you have had on our behalf this far. They really have made a difference.
|Taylor playing "football"with the kids at the orphanage|