We had a BLAST yesterday!!!
We were supposed to get all the shopping for the games done on Friday, but in good 'ole African timing, we were running about 3 hours late and by the time we could've gone shopping it was after 7pm and the shops were closed.
What an awesome time we had visiting with 5 families, after a spontaneous time with a group of HIV+ ladies from the village next to the YWAM base (while waiting for Moses, our driver/guide for the day - YWAMer). Heart-breaking on the one hand, yet hope-inspiring on the other. Enjoyed listening to them and ministering to them in prayer and encouragement.
Haven't ministered to sooooooo many people in a loooooooooooong time - every day - visiting, listening, sharing, ministering, praying. Oh how I wish more of God's supernatural power flowing through me/us - especially in physical healing, as there are soooooooooo many who really need God's healing touch!
At times it does get exhausting and at the end of the day, I feel I've got nothing left to give. That's where I recognize my introvert personality (would you've guessed??! - hehe).
As much as I LOOOOVE being with people, it does drain me.
What I love so much is that we've been having a REAL AFRICAN EXPERIENCE since we arrived - being immersed in the culture, getting to know it through the eyes of the beautiful African people!
By the way, just to set the record straight, what I mentioned in my last blog post about meeting "the best" was in no way intended as a comparison with other people/ministries we've visited!
They really ALL are BEAUTIFUL expressions of the Father's heart!
Guess I just can't hide my enthusiasm about what our YWAM-family is doing to make a difference...
Having this all-African introduction also includes regular hunger-pangs. Even though we have some nuts etc in our backpacks for times where we can't get to food, we wouldn't dare bring out the food as we're with our friends who pretty much don't eat and drink all day - except towards the evening - not even a word mentioned about being hungry or thirsty (and our nuts wouldn't be enough for everybody).
Never before have I felt guilty about drinking water ~ ~ ~
Rich and I have our water bottles and drink regularly throughout the day, but I also see that our local friends have no water bottles, and in most houses, we don't get offered drink or food.
African hospitality is VERY warm, though, sometimes I think they're not offering cuz they really don't have anything!
The daily struggle just for food and water is very real round here...
So, to get back to yesterday, after shopping for some stuff for games and a heap of candy/lollies (quite the experience again), we finally made it to the venue for the party with the orphans.
Prepared a bag with some goodies for each one of the 18 families in the Orphans kNOw more network, got ready for games.
Great program, including a time of worship, song/dance presentations and several testimonies from the children that are NO LONGER ORPHANS but adopted into beautiful families, with a mother and father who selflessly sacrifice their lives for all of the children.... VERY VERY TOUCHING!!!!
Tears the whole way through.... what an emotional wreck I am most of the time - - -
Find myself going to sleep often weeping - waking up weeping - got to admit that I've been taking medication every night to make sure I get some sleep. First it was for jet-lag, but I have continued as there is so much to "digest" at night that I can't sleep without some help... arggh
Feeling GREAT during the day, though! Thank you, Jesus!
So, back to yesterday: had great food - basically paid by our family eating rice and beans or lentils every Sunday for a year - made us so happy that by our tiny sacrifice we were able to bless 200 people with a feast! (had to top it up a bit) - VERY special (of course, nobody knew about that, which was even better!)
The games were the BLAST! O.MY.GOODNESS!!!
It was actually MADNESS!!!
These kids - and there were a lot from the local village that joined in - must have been well over 200 - are not used to getting attention in this way - TOTALLY different from anything we've ever experienced! It was wonderful and wild!
Trying to give out a candy/lolly to each child in the end almost ended up in a riot/stampede... crazy - - -
We had to cancel a few of the activities because of the madness, but still - everybody had lots of fun - including us!
After everybody had left and it was pitch-dark, Rich and I were sitting under a tree with some of the kids from the village, pulling out the glow-in-the-dark bracelets (our last treat that we'd held onto) and just enjoying being with the kids - doing some singing, just giving affection. We had to wait quite a while for our ride back, as there'd been a flat tyre and lots of things and people to transport - we were the last ones to leave - sooo enjoyed that winding down time with just some of the kids1
While Rich had been mostly leading the games for the OKM kids, I felt myself surrounded by the kids from the village - could tell by the extra layers of dirt on their skin and the rags - the OKM kids were dressed in their best clothes, as it was a special celebration for them.
By the way, one thing Rich and I have observed: men don't hardly EVER wear T-shirts around here - only dress-shirts - - - interesting! And I was the only woman yesterday in (long, shabby) shorts - all the ladies put on their best dresses etc - we both felt out of place as everybody else was much more dressed up... oh my.... learning....
In the end I was grateful for having worn those clothes, cuz we were so stinkin' dirty - - - with all the games etc...
'Nuf for today - bed's calling - night!