Thursday, February 24, 2011

Over the last three days, I have watched a heart break. The heart of a little boy who wonders as he watches his friends prepare for meeting their Mommy and Daddy, “Where are my Mommy and Daddy? When do I get a family?” To watch as he thinks, “Maybe if I’m a little cuter and as long as I’m good, surely then someone will want me.” I watch as he puts up walls to try to defend against hearing the words “Mommy and Daddy” from his friend’s mouth who will be meeting his family soon…and then I watch as those walls crumble and the tears come rolling down. And for some special reason, the Lord has given me the privilege to get to love on this precious little as his heart breaks. And my own heart breaks with his. For some reason, He has me here to pray with this precious, tender-hearted child and to sing over him and just carry him to Jesus. It’s the only place I know to take him…before the throne of the One who is the Father to the fatherless and who places the lonely in families. And so I come to Him with a broken hearted boy held by a broken hearted girl, both children of the King, crying out to our Abba Daddy, for comfort and healing and for promises to be fulfilled, that He does not leave us as orphans.

And so I ask you to cry out to our Abba Daddy for us tonight. Especially for my sweet little friend. And to ask you to pray about adoption…if you’ve ever thought of it, or if you’ve never, just pray about it…because I think there are probably a lot of other broken hearts around the world tonight. May He be real to them.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


There are so very many things I am processing here. So forgive for the kind of stream-of-consciousness that this blog post is, but here goes…

There are so very many questions on my heart these days…How does anyone leave any of these precious children? That just does not make any sense to me. Even one. Some are brought here by their families as a temporary home to care for them, but some are just left…in sugarcane fields, in trash cans, at gates. Why?....How do I discipline in love a child who shuts down when disciplined? When her walls go up, how do I get through? How do I have patience when I feel like I have told a child the same thing day after day, and it doesn’t sink in? How do I communicate Jesus’ love to a child who is an orphan and has people in and out of their life all the time, mostly leaving them…over and over? How do I build a relationship and trust when in the back of this child’s mind they know I’m not here permanently and few people ever are? How are there so many orphans? There are over 140 million of them. WHAT? Why is the church not responding more? How do we respond?

And the questions keep coming. And at times I feel overwhelmed. At times I feel heart broken. At times I feel frustrated and so full of questions. And then I realize I am getting the most beautiful, tiny picture of His heart. The heart of my Jesus beats for the orphan. The heart of my Jesus breaks for the orphan. His heart is for children. His heart is for the vulnerable to know love and safety, and for the broken to know healing. He cries for the broken hearted child who feels lonely, abandoned, and misunderstood. His heart breaks for the abuse, hurt, and hard places these children have seen. His heart longs to protect them and love them and show them mercy.

And then I am completely humbled and blown away…that He would give me glimpses of these places of His heart. And even more just brought to my knees at the thought that He would use me in even a tiny way to show Him to these littles. When I am in a place of my heart breaking for what His does, I am where I want to be. I am where He wants me to be. I pray that He will continue to break my heart for what breaks His…that He will continue to give me His eyes…that He will continue to keep me and lead me by the right hand and whisper to me gently “This is the way, walk in it”. He is holding my heart together as it breaks. I believe I am right where He wants me. I could not be more thankful and have never felt more at peace. He has me right in the middle of His will, my heart breaking, but never feeling more free. How can I keep from singing His Name? He is the strength of my heart and my portion forever, and so I rejoice, whether the earth quakes and the mountains crumble and my heart breaks, I rejoice. My God will come through ALWAYS. He hears my heart’s cries, He comforts each child here and every orphan around the world, and He is working to bring His Kingdom here. I pray that He might continue to let me be a part of that, and that He will give me the eyes to see how He’s calling me to that. I am longing for Heaven on earth. Let’s bring it. Pray with me please! The Kingdom will come, and we can be a part. Pray for me to learn more of my part...I'm praying you'll learn more of yours too!

Nkwagala nyo,
Auntie Sarah

Thursday, February 10, 2011

My Days

So so much to tell! These last few weeks have been incredibly full. I feel like I am finally settling into the schedule, so hopefully can get into a more regular schedule for updating this. I may play catch up and update on different things that have happened over the last few weeks over the next couple days, but as a summary, it has been AMAZING…blessed, stretching, humbling, fun, tiring, full, new, feels like normal, adventurous, and just all over the place.

My schedule during the week is pretty structured…For Monday thru Friday: mornings are spent with preschool for 2 hours, then toddlers for 2 hours—we do school with the preschool, right now working on learning our letters and shapes and colors; mostly just play with the toddlers and read books and go on nature walks : ) Then we help with lunch and getting the kids ready for nap time, followed by lunch and a break. Then for our afternoon time we alternate between activities twice a week (water activities, PE, puppet shows, etc), laundry once a week, and outings and one-on-one once a week each. Then I fall into bed after hanging out for a little bit. On Saturdays we do different projects around Amani—from moving trash into the trash pit to sorting clothes to cleaning rooms, it varies every week. We have Saturday afternoons off. On Sunday we go to church together at this amazing church that meets outside and then have the rest of the day free. I'm serving alongside 3 other amazing volunteers...there were 3 others here but they're gone now, so 4 remain. They are each amazing and bless my days with friendship, laughter, and their beautiful hearts!

Outings and one-on-one time are my absolute favorites! I am still having a hard time figuring out how to love each kid well when we’re in a big group setting…how do you love individually when there are 10 children in a room, let alone 24? It’s tough. Pray for wisdom there…it’s getting better as I get to know them better, but still very hard. But because of this, I LOVE when I get to hang out with them with one other volunteer or one-on-one. We go to town and get a soda or maybe a piece of cake, or stay here and watch a movie, or do some other fun thing to just treat them and hang out and just love on them. It is SO much fun and such a blessing! To be able to show a child they are so loved and to just get to spend sweet time with just them is a joy. So far I have taken kids to get ice cream, to the pool, to get cake, and to watch a movie…and lots of other fun things. I’ll try to add some pictures to accompany this, but just know it is a blast!

I have found my favorite place to be for naptime and bedtime prep is with the boys…they are crazy most days (imagine trying to put 17 boys to bed at the same time, ages 2 through 8, half in “big boy underpants” and half in diapers, all in one room….you get the picture), but I love it. My friend Simona (one of the other volunteers) had been here last year and always helped with the boys, and I decided to try it out with her…and now I’m hooked. I kind of love the craziness of it. I helped with the girls the other night and they were boring…haha. The boys just make me laugh and smile as much as they make me frustrated, and at the end of it getting to read them a story, hear their precious bedtime prayer, and to give them all goodnight kisses (and sometimes get a kiss or two back) is a beautiful delight. One of my favorite parts of the day.

The afternoon break time and weekend down time has been really good for my soul for meeting with some of the amazing new friends here who I have heard much of through sweet friends from home. The Lord is bringing community in this new place and it is just really incredible. More to come on that.

And this is how I have been spending my days. Loving God, loving His children, and learning so much! Praying He’ll keep me focused and in love with Him that I might pour that love out.

Nkwagala nyo (I love you much),
Auntie Sarah