Well, it is time that I gather my thoughts and feelings and make an attempt to put an amazing journey down on paper. After reading everyone's reports, commonly known as "blogs," I feel completely inadequate with my writing skills... So please open your hearts and read between the lines. I will do my best to convey to you the story from my point of view. Here it goes...
I must admit before the trip began, I was completely drained and spiritually unfit to go halfway across the world to share the love of Christ with others. The passing of Tom's mother just under two weeks prior to the trip, took everything out of me and the last thing I needed was a mission trip. But I knew I must go... I was determined not to let Satan get the best of me. That is my stubborn nature! This time it worked to my advantage.
Anyway, I hop on a plane with my family in tow. Yes, Tom, Jessica, and Bekah were all part of this journey. I must admit, even though I was not spiritually prepared, I was extremely exited about my entire family going. This was Bekah's first mission trip ever and I wanted for her to experience the feeling of God's presence like the rest of us have experienced in the past. I was anxious to watch her... I already knew how Jessica would be with the kids. I have had the privilege to watch her in action before on trips to Brazil. She is great with them. Jess-e-ca! Jess-e-ca!
We arrived on Sunday with all of our luggage. (Small miracle!) Had a nice dinner, well everyone but me. Mine never arrived. However, that was really fine with me because I was not hungry anyway. Just glad I did not miss out on any chocolate ice cream... We went back to the hotel and got ready for a very fast and furious week ahead. I won't go into many details about the actual work because I after reading the other reports, I know you got the jest of the work that was acccomplished... (Huge miracle!) FYI--I was so very proud of the team and the efforts that were put forth in getting 180 beds stained, each piece of every bed moved from one area to another area way to many times (thanks ant line participants!), assembling the beds where the parts/holes didn't always match up, mastering the art of putting vinyl covers on a foam mattress, etc. And need I say a huge thank you for the sub-team (you know who you are) that knocked a hole 24" thick in the wall so that the "fan" door could be installed. Dirty job, but somebody had to do it!!! And another thank you for putting in new flooring in two dorm rooms so that more children will have a room to sleep in. Way to go!!!
The team worked hard and we played hard. The team survived me and my bossy behavior. Sorry team, that is just the way I am. I see something that needs to be done, and I try hard to get it done. But I do know you still love me. At least I think so... Don't let me know otherwise!
What I found most exciting was the transformation of the older guys at the orphange. They arrived on Monday being very distant and non interactive. But thanks to the wonderful translators, and Jessica and Bekah, it did not take long for the guys to start to feel comfortable acound a bunch of stangers on their "turf." Anyway, as the week progressed, relationships started to form. They started to come to life and laughter was heard around the orphanage. As a mom, I watched tenderly as Jessica and Bekah became friends with orphan boys their own ages. I could not have been more proud of my girls as they made the guys feel loved and cared for. They are forever bonded!
Get the kleenex...
The guys have a special place in my heart. I think it is because they are in the same place in life that Jessica and Bekah are. Teenagers! They are trying to find their place in this world and are scared of the unkown. Rightfully so... But these guys are strong and like I said to them before, they are survivors. They have it tough. But I believe in them. I love them. And most importanly, God loves them. I have just been chosen as a vessel to funnel His mightly love to them. I am so honored to play a part in their lives.
You know, as a mother, nothing means more to you than when your child comes to you and says "Mom, I love you." Well, by the end of an amazing journey, these guys who have little faith in their own parents for various reasons, were calling me "Mom" and telling me how much they love me!!! Very cool, huh? I get all emotional just remembering their voices in my head! :)
I take my job as a parent very seriously, so I am honored to be called "Mom" by Dima, Ivan, and Arture. They are my sons and I love them so much!!! I may be a half a world away, but in my heart we are forever together.
Enough of the mushy stuff... Got to go and get ready to drive to New York on Friday to share our story with our son, Brian and his family. He has no clue that he has more brothers now!!!
Hugs and Kisses to each of you team two! You are awesome!
Sweet Sleep! zzz