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Home. Home is the word I would use to describe what I feel. The joy of seeing the orphanage children again is so indescribably. I wish that everyone could feel this right now. It feels as though nothing can ever make me feel as happy as I do now.

We went to the orphanage today just for a bit but just that short time made my heart feel like it will explode. Seeing the improvements that have been made to the orphanage are astounding- from new staff members added to Sara Rose, to the physical changes that have been added to the orphanage, and most of all the growth of the children.

If anyone has been following my journey since my first trip you will know that there have been a couple children that have made a lasting impact on my life- Given, Pasco, and Deborah.

Given has been at the orphanage since she was little and has a very sweet spirit about her. She has had her fair share crap in her life but she presses on. She is 8ish years old and totally recognize me this morning!! She had the biggest, brightest smile on her face the whole time we were there!!!

Pasco is a 6 year old little boy who has cerebral palsy and as result he doesn’t have a very high range of motion that other children his age would have. He has involuntary muscle spasms and is unable to support his head. He has been at the orphanage since he was a baby. He spends his days laying on a mattress in the common room watching TV. When we walking in the room he looked very sad but as soon as I went over and he saw me and I said hello his face lit up like no other and brightened the whole room! My heart felt like it would explode with overwhelming joy!

And last but not least my sweet little Deborah! Victoria had one of the other orphanage moms bring her out and my heart skipped a beat!!! She walked up, in her school uniform, with her friend Moses and it was all I could do to hold back the floodgates! My frail and fragile little girl from last year is all grown up!! I ran over to her and picked her up immediately p gave her the biggest hug. We went into the common room and sat down and her friend Moses was with us and they started playing together. She was running around with him, smiling, laughing, and being the happy little girl I wasn’t sure she would ever be!! She is talking, she knows her numbers, and overall has improved so incredibly compared to last year!!

I knew I had left my heart here in the past years but coming back and feeling God slowly put the pieces back together has been amazing. I feel so at home here in Zambia. Everything that I remember being astonishing on my first trip seem so normal. Having spotty electricity, trash fires, crazy bumpy dirt roads, speed bumps every 30 feet, children walking around everywhere you go, people walking alongside the road with the cars and crossing the street in a moments notice, driving on the other side of the road than in America, school children in uniforms, moms carrying children on their backs, women and children holding baskets of food on their heads. It all seems so normal and I love it!! I am so incredibly thankful for all that God has done in my life to bring to to this very moment!!

Prayer Requests:

  • continued strength as we are still adjusting to the 9 hour time difference
  • wisdom when interacting with the children
  • faith to trust in Jesus and His timing for everything
  • Rissa and Johnny- especially for Rissa to reach out to the church we told her about

Jesus,

Thank you for bringing Jenna and I to Zambia. We trust in you that you have an amazing plan for our life and for this summer! Thank you for all that you have done in Zambia through Sara Rose Childrens Foundation. Please help Jenna and I to have wisdom when we are interacting with the children around us. Thank you Jesus!

In Him,

Shelbyrae

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