Sunday is rest day. I’m not sure how there is ever a rest day when you have 46 children in your care.
The morning felt a lot like home. We got up and ate delicious breakfast burritos made by Kathy and then we walked over to the neighborhood church. It honestly was one of the hottest 1.5 hours I have ever experienced. Four people to a small pew in an unairconditioned building with kids in your lap. I would like to claim that church was inspirational but on the contrary I found it nearly unbearable. We couldn’t understand the language and it truly was very uncomfortable. Giovanni was in my lap and he was so squirmy. I loved one part when a young girl around the age of 5 sang a very off key solo. I also found it interesting that many members of the church were texting, sleeping or talking. How is it that even the poorest of people still have cell phones? Communion and collections were fascinating. For communion you do not participate if you feel you have committed big sins during the week. Let’s just say a lot of people chose not to participate. And then there’s tithing. I am reminded of a story Jesus told about a poor woman who only tithes a small amount but it’s everything she has and there’s the rich man who tithes much more than the poor woman but his tithe is minimal in comparison to his net worth. Jesus looked more favorably upon the woman who gave little. That’s what I saw today. People who make less than $1/day were tithing 2 or 3 dollars: a few days’ wages.
|Me and Stephanya after braving the waters|
The other highlight of today was our trip to the beach. We took all the 1st-5th graders to the local beach about 20 minutes from the orphanage. We piled 10 adults and 19 children into a 15 passenger van. The beach was crowded with locals and really brought with it a variety of characters that left us with some great memories. We had the three creepy men in the ocean who kept talking to our children and making comments to the women of the group. We had an 11 or 12 year old girl named Joella who tried to integrate into the group because she wants to live at the orphanage. She apparently even tried to sneak on the van before. And then we had the young man who approached us with just an unsheathed machete asking us if we would like to buy a coconut. At least that’s what we think he was asking. There is quite a language barrier. As unnerving as the beach was it was a wonderful time of play with the kids. I had the privilege of holding on to Stephanya, who was afraid of the water. She held on tight for 20 minutes and then I was able to get her to put her feet down and by the end of our trip she even let go of my hand once. I was so proud of her. Lots of tag and water wrestling but mostly it felt like a security gig. Counting and recounting. Protecting these precious little ones from those who may not have the best intentions. Since the earthquake the staff here has been approached by many people pretending to be with UNICEF or other agencies in an effort to steal children. These children are very lucky to have the staff of Hands and Feet loving, protecting and caring for their welfare. It’s a beautiful family here.