Dressed in their beautiful, traditional dress for the Christmas Party
Sweet Mable has rarely left my side in 2 days :)
Jeremy and his buddy, Frankie
Excitement... Fear....Joy...Sadness....Peace...Confusion....Thankfulness...Guilt... AND TRUE, RAW, ABUNDANT LOVE.... We have felt every one of these emotions very deeply in the past two days. Is it what I expected... yes... does that make it any easier or less real... absolutely not. Last night, we had a Christmas Party with the kids from the orphanage and kids from the market... and when I say from the market... I mean the market is their home. Each one of these children have their own story to tell on why they live in the market but each story is covered with some level of pain and abandonment. The youngest that John knows of in the Market is 7. Let that sink in for a bit. With that said, these kids have not lost the desire to "be known." Some of the older girls shared their stories with me. One of the boys came up to Jeremy at the end and prayed for God's blessing over us for helping to bring them FOOD. I am continually humbled when I see the 5 year old children washing their own dishes after they eat and the 7 year old cleaning the kitchen, fetching water, and putting out the fire. I do admire John and the other leaders here at CKO for establishing responsibility and accountability in the children. For some of these children, so much of their childhood and their innocence has been torn away. Their precious eyes and ears have been exposed to things that no human should bear. I have seen small remnants of these wounds in their interactions to one another. Our names have changed in the past two days from Jeremy and Kristin to "MOMMY" and "DADDY". That was a first for us and nothing can quite prepare you for that. I had ~50 coloring pages shown to me today searching for approval and a simple "good job." AFFIRMATION... we all love and crave it. It is so vital for children and you can tell that some of these little ones need extra to make up for the lack of it before. Since we left, I have felt the Lord whisper...."Jump with two feet, don't hold back." so that is what I am doing... jumping in and investing the lives of these people as they invest in mine. I would challenge you to jump in to what the Lord is pushing you towards. This is just as much your journey as it is ours. Thank you for answering the call. You will be blessed.
* I put a lot of pictures up on facebook!
If you would like to sponsor one of the children to provide food and schooling, please visit http://feedingtheorphans.com/ and click on "How can I help?" If you are feeling the nudge to adopt, please send us a message and we can get you connected with people who can help answer questions!!
Tomorrow, we will be heading to the Volta region to represent "Feeding the Orphans" and provide food to hundreds of street children. Even though this is a temporary feeding, Christ will be represented and HE is anything but temporary. Please cover tomorrow in prayer.
Kristin and Jeremy