Greetings Again From Africa. I am 15 days away from leaving the Orphanage and 19 days away from being home. I cant believe time has flown by so quickly.
When I arrived at the Orphanage most of the children did not really understand the concept of hugs. They started to slowly warm up to the concept of hugs. Little by little they would start coming up and hugging me.
Today I received at least 50 hugs. The children run up to me (I have to brace myself sometimes) to give me a huge hug. I can feel their love for me and I hope they can feel my love as well.
One of the young boys named Joseph wants 10 hugs a day. He comes towards me with his arms high in the arm which symbolizes a hug. It is so precious. I got a video of him doing this.
The children continue to teach me daily and I treasure my time with them. The children have very little one on one time with an adult so I try to have special time with each one of the children. They love to play soccer, cook, sing, dance, and watch TV. They have tested my patience several times and always want something out of my bookbag even if I have nothing in there to give. They work together and enjoy making sure their rooms are clean and laundry is neatly ironed. (Thats right, even the boys iron!) I have a few stories I want to share with you that touched my heart.
There is one child at the Orphanage that is in a wheelchair. He has the best attitude. Life in Zambia is very physically demanding and I cant imagine the hardships he goes under to be in a wheelchair. He tells me how faithful God is to him and how there is a time for everything. He talks about God's blessings in his life and how lucky he is. Can you imagine - a boy in a wheelchair saying this? After I heard him tell me this I thought I should never complain about anything again.
Today as I was packing up my bookbag at Sunday School, one of the youth saw me put money in my Bible for the offering. He asked me if he could have some money for offering. He did not want the money to buy new shoes, some candy, or something fun at the market. He gave it to God. He had the biggest smile on his face when he walked up and put the money in the offering plate. This child literally has two pairs of shoes and very little clothes. It was truly touching to see how he wanted to be able to give to God. How many times in my own life have I not given enough to God and instead gone and bought new clothes?
The children love love love to color. They call it "Painting." When I arrived there was no crayons nor paper. Thanks to some generous people, I was able to bring both! We have enjoyed making Bible story books, notes, and pictures. They are very talented and have given me several bring home. Last Saturday night everyone was painting. I painted a picture that said "Remember that God loves you and always shine for Jesus." I gave it to a boy named David. David and his younger sister both live at Front Porch Orphanage. He is the nicest boy and would do anything for me. He wants to serve God. He said the next day at the youth meeting, "Sister Ashley painted me a picture that said "Shine for Jesus" and I want to pray that I can continue to Shine for Jesus." - I started to cry.
This week I laughed alot - I helped three 8-10 year old boys do their laundry. We do laundry outside in large tubs and hand wash everything. I think there was more water on us than the actual clothes. Soap covered the ground, the clothes, and us. Kendra and I taught the children how to dance to the "Macarena." We also taught the children "Mmmbop" by Hanson. And I SAW AND HELD A MONKEY!!!!!! I have pictures and videos to prove all of these.