This week has been emotionally trying....I am not even sure that I can effectively put into words. There is so much need here and so little help. Desperation does something to people. I guess they figure they have nothing else to lose so why not ask. It is not a good position to have to be in and I can't even imagine.
When I took Emma to the hospital the other day to have his stitches removed, it was the same nurse as when we brought him in the first time. After she removed his stitches, she asked to speak to me alone. When I went to talk to her, she said to me how I take care of orphans and then started telling me about her situation. Her brother and his wife had both died so not only is she trying to support her kids but theirs also. She can't afford to put them in school and told me that some are really bright. I knew I would face situations like that but I didn't know what to say. It is difficult to know that there are so many that need help but you can only help a few.
Then on Thursday, we visited another home. They were boys that used to be in the street programs but an American lady committed to opening a home and providing for them. I don't know the specifics of what is going on but I do know they are not being taken care of. It has been 2 months and they still have the same clothes that they had while they were on the street. They never received new clothes, some may not be in school, and they don't always have food to eat so the kids have to go back to the streets to scrap metal and plastic to get money to buy food. This is so wrong on so many levels and these kids are teetering on the edge. How people can commit to something so serious and then take it so lightly is beyond me. And those kids were so cute. They have nothing but want to give you everything they do have. One boy was going to take off his necklace and give it to me. Their selflessness is amazing and how they can continue to be disappointed and taken advantage of is a huge injustice. Tomorrow I am going to go to the market with Abby so she can buy new clothes for them. Please pray that something major happens and someone comes along that is serious about helping them and taking care of them.
After that, we went to the street program for handicapped people and this lady almost broke me. I was sharing with a few ladies about my life and how I came to find God and what brought me to Africa. They were so engaged and supportive and happy to listen and tell me how they understood what I meant and how we were the same in so many ways. I was telling them how I knew God had a plan for me and this lady says to me something like, "You know God made me like this for whatever reason. What can I do but keep living?". Are you serious? This lady has to live on the streets and beg because rebels attacked her village and on top of that she is disabled and she is ok with it. She has every reason to hate and blame God, to hate her life and want to give up but she is so far from it. I almost started crying hysterically. I have felt like giving up for far less. It really put things into perspective for me and made me feel like a spoiled brat. Back home, if the smallest thing is wrong, I will scream and complain and really its something so stupid. Funny how sometimes you go to give people hope and they inspire you and touch you more than you ever could for them. When I look back on my time here, I will definitely remember that lady and that moment.
Thankfully the weekend was a bit lighter. We got a new volunteer on Friday so we went to pick her up and then I did my first Bible study with the ladies at Hope House. I shared how God has a plan for us and we shouldn't make excuses as to why to not accept it. The ladies have also been working really hard and almost everyone sold several pieces of jewelry. I was so worried about the program because they just weren't doing well. After that, I got to go and watch the boys play soccer. They love soccer and are so happy playing. Their field is just a field of dirt but it is always packed with so many people playing. It was a nice relief to have a lighter moment.
Saturday, we got to celebrate Emma's birthday. As some of you know, his birthday was well over a month ago but he told Abby that he wanted to wait for me to celebrate (Keep in mind I had never met him before nor had I spoken with him). He is such an amazing kid. He is the same one that told me to step on him so I didn't step in mud. So we had a birthday party for him. The kids played limbo and bobbed for apples and played a game with balloons. They had to keep the balloons in the air without using their hands. They had so much fun and the house was a bundle of screams and laughs. We had cake for him and of course, Mija being the cow she is tried to steal the cake.