Thursday, October 3, 2013

A day in the life of Praise

I started this post a few days ago.
Thanks to a mouse waking me up early,
I'm finishing now. YAY!

Wondering WHICH day I should be writing about,
as I could be writing a similar post about each of the days I've been here...
But let me just finish this one:

After being off internet for a few days, here I am, sitting in Praise's (borrowed) car with her next to me, on the side of the road - in the dark - waiting for the mechanic to arrive to get the car to work...

Thank God for 'internet anywhere'!

My thoughts drift back to everything that has happened today

 - a (typical?!) day in the life of Praise:

After a liquid breakfast, devotions and a series of phone calls first thing in the morning, we went to the village to see the children.
On the way, we stopped to buy a photo frame for a photo I brought from NZ for Blair's parents.
Blair (9) was one of the students in Praise's school who sadly got killed by a motorcycle 2 weeks ago, just in front of the school.

I was amazed to see how much things had improved on the property since my last visit - the biggest change being a beautiful new, safe home going up and just about finished, where hopefully rats won't nibble on little children's fingers and toes and also keep them safe in other ways!
The school is to the left.

The new house is being built by International Voice of the Orphan, a connection that happened on my last trip due to a broken off tooth.
IVO has become a tremendous blessing for Praise, paying for their food and helping in many other ways.

Of course, the most delightful part is always seeing the children!
They are absolutely ADORABLE and SO LOVABLE!!!!

Praise showing some of the children Blair's photo

Then, Praise wanted to buy some oil at a nearby 'mini-store' for frying some eggs as we were hungry.
And yes, there are a bunch of chickens now who have started laying about 15-20 eggs every day
(this number should soon increase).
So cool!

Sherry French, this photo is especially for you - THANK YOU SO MUCH for caring!!!!

  That was around 11:30am.

Driving off, we got stopped by an elderly lady who was telling Praise some very exciting news: God had answered her prayers for her children to get married officially. On New Years evening last year, she had come to Praise's church telling her that she wanted to give this Jesus a try. But needed some sign to convince her of his reality: If her husband, who had left her 7 years before was going to come back, she would know that this Jesus was for real and would give him her life.
Well - guess what?

While Praise was in NZ, he DID come back and they both started coming to church.
This lady was SO excited that now her second major request of God is being answered and after thanking Praise profusely, she ended up giving her some money - no small amount for here!
"I cannot thank you enough but take this little bit of money"

WOW! That was a good start!

Off we went, but shortly thereafter we stopped by this grandmother that had literally been close to starvation as she is all alone with no one to help her.
Praise had organized for some food to be brought to her on the week-end - and once again - this lady was thanking Praise over and over for this food. Even in her weakness you could see her happiness.
 She was convinced that she would have starved had she not received this food.

she happily posed for this picture

Next stop - of course - none of these stops planned - we were just going to the store, right?

We turned to visit a man whose wife died last week. She had been on the Parent Teacher Association of Praise's school. We spent a lot of time with this man who was telling us many stories. and so happy about our visit.
As Praise kept stopping at one place after another, she explained to me that she cannot just drive by these people.
 She needs to visit and reach out to them as they are part of her community.

Next stop: Rose, the mother of 2 of Praise's children. Praise took the children in as this woman is very sick with HIV and other related sickness. She has recently spent weeks in the hospital, close to death and suffering severely but thankfully well enough now to be sent 'home'.
As this woman has no family at all, I dare not think what would've happened to her had Praise not found a way to pay for her hospital stay and a person to look after her there
 (which is needed here).
Now, with her actually not having a home, an old lady took her in and is caring for her.

So special to be able to pray with her in person after praying much for her with our family

posted with her permission - she is very grateful for all the people who have been praying for her -
and she needs continued prayers for sure

By the way, I was MOST IMPRESSED by her daughter Monica, 13, who on Sunday publicly shared about her HIV status in front of a large church where Praise and the children were ministering.
She dreams of educating HIV+ women about how not to pass on the virus to their children and started doing that even on Sunday!
What a girl!!!
She's incredible with huge potential!

I found out after the visit that the woman caring for Rose has also been caring for 5 orphaned children and has just had somebody drop off 3 more small abandoned children.
She was begging Praise to take these 3 as already she didn't have enough food to care for the ones she has.

This is the home where all 10 of them are staying

Praise refused as she is not in a position at the moment to take on any more children, but she left her with the money that had just been given to her.

Food for a few days - Mukama jeba sibwe (Praise the Lord!)
Going on the fast track now for the rest of the day, some other happenings:
  • visiting Blair's family and giving them the photo with frame - which will be their only photo of their only son

  • getting into a thunderstorm with heavy rains and flooding on the way to town to get internet.
We were thanking the Lord after we passed this one safely - a bit nerve wrecking

  • Car window failing to go up for quite a while - happens daily

  • visit with Praise's biological mother - which was amazing! I have never been so warmly welcomed by anybody here! Wasn't sure what to expect as you would understand if you knew the story. Blown away!
    Precious moments between 2 mothers to 1 daughter :)
  • On leaving, the car wouldn't start - also nothing too unusual, as this car has about 250 000km and has been needing constant repairs. But this time it was 'just' a flat battery due to lights being left on :)

  • Lastly, after the car got going again, we spent more than 2 hours in heavy traffic until we came to where we were staying the night - by 10pm

  • driving behind a pick-up truck with a bunch of people sitting on a coffin, on their way to a funeral (driving at night as no doubt they had to go somewhere far)

  • Coming across an accident due to the muddy/slippery roads - which was the reason for the more-than-ever-heavy traffic

Oh - and did I mention the traffic?

We're in it daily for hours..... no wonder the days are long and I don't get to blog..
Getting back to where we're staying is rarely before 10pm.

Yesterday, we had more adventures on muddy roads, and a flat tyre that had to get changed twice.

 Don't ask me more.

That's another post (that may or may not ever get written - haha).

AND - YES - we did get to eat our eggs!

blowing on the fire - with posho cooking in the front for the kids' lunch

In closing, let me share this quote I just read which is so appropriate for what I see Praise doing every day -

far beyond 'just' caring for 36 orphaned children:

"The first to help you up are the ones that know how it feels to fall down."

I have never had greater respect for what she is doing and under which circumstances.

My daughter - my hero - my joy!
just before going into the zoo - a wonderful, memorable day with the children

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Wonderful, thanks for sharing. xx