16 September 2011

House Three open!

Yesterday we opened house three at Mattaw Children's Village. I'm in awe of how good our God is to provide a way for us to rescue more children. I was counting on pictures to tell it all because there's just been too many moments lately that I wonder how I will put it into words. Well, Bud just left this morning to take our team on safari. Meaning he took our camera to catch pictures of some awesome kill they are fasting and praying to God to see. Ha. And I was absolutely exhausted when coming home last night that it didn't occur to me to get all the pictures off our camera before Bud left at the crack of dawn today. I'm sure you cared for this much of an explanation! Moving along, here's my attempt to tell of yesterday.

We already prayed and decided which children we would be picking up. We've had overflow in house one and two due to some emergency cases so we were already full on girls. Our new house parents have three of their own children, two girls and one boy. They are already referring to themselves as a family of 14 now though! Our new house three parents' names are Grace and Joseph. They are precious and we've known them for years. They live not far from Mattaw. So, we first went out to Mattaw. Bud and the guys worked on some stuff on house five. I dug through the container to gather the remaining things to give first thing to the children that come into house three. I kinda had in mind an ENTIRE different day planned. I had this picture perfect idea of how everything would have been delivered on time to house three.... the beds, furniture, mattresses, blankets, ect. They did get all the household supplies, like kitchen supplies, basins and such all there last week. Of course nothing hardly goes according to plan here in Africa. Anywho, oh and while the guys were working, Austin was slaughtering goats for the celebration welcoming lunch for house three. Yes, he slaughtered. But not just slit the neck with a sharp knife, he hacked their necks with a dull axe. The sound was horrific! He then hung them from our now broken tree house in the woods and later we found the legs were still hanging after they had cut the body down to grill. Oh I know, this is detailed, I could go into more. I'll refrain and show pictures later! So by about 11am we all loaded up to go on our rescue mission. Humphrey, our social worker, came and is just so great to have in helping us with all of this. He really has a heart for these kids and helps the transition go so well.

We first picked up Dan and Peter. You can read about their story by clicking HERE. This past June made a year since we first met them. I'm absolutely thrilled and at peace with them being "home" in house three now. They had never been to school a year ago and were lucky if they ate a meal every day. When we found them, we put them in school which also guaranteed meals for them. They still have had a rough year given their situation where they were living, but now they are safe. We already took in Angeline, Peter's sister and Dan's cousin, due to urgency. She was crying when the boys showed up. It didn't take long AT ALL for them to jump right back into being family and laughing together. When we went to pick the boys, they saw us coming and when I got out of the car they jumped into my arms out of excitement. Of course first thing they asked for Bud. Bud stayed behind to finish up construction while we got to do the fun part of picking up kids. We went into the one and a half room apartment type home to sit and make final discussions with the great aunt and uncle of the boys. Humphrey explained more stuff, we had papers signed, took pictures, and off we went. 10 minutes into the ride and Peter was already car sick and vomiting in Chaz's lap. (one of the guys on our team who just so happens to be one of Peter's sponsors.... lets just say they had a good bonding experience). Dan on the other hand sat in the very back with Elisha and talked and giggled the entire time. He rolled back the window in the back and yelled at people, most of the time greeting them with "HOW A YOU!?". He also managed to tear out an air-conditioning piece and a few other pieces on the side. He and Peter will be a handful. We've prepared our house parents for them!

Our next pick up was Emmanuel and Ayub who I just wrote about last week. The two brothers who were living with their grandmother. I was just as excited to visit the grandmother as I was to get the boys. They welcomed us with arms wide open and we all went in to sit in her hut. It was raining by this point. I first went in and greeted the grandmother, then slowly our team all piled in. She was surprised to see how many white people kept coming in and every time she welcomed them with a chuckle and smile. Neighborhood children kept gathering at the door trying to peek in at the white people. We brought the grandmother food to bless her. She was thrilled beyond words. We followed with custom and did greetings back and forth. An uncle to the boys showed up and ended up signing papers on the boys on behalf of the grandmother because she doesn't know how to read or write, let alone have a signature. He said some nice things and how it is an answer to prayer for these boys to get to enter into a family where they now have a mother and father. Oh and Elisha was with us and came inside. When a bunch of kids were gathered at the door, he ran out with his monster growl. Most of the kids loved it and laughed... then there were those few that were terrified to see a little white person... especially one growling and coming at them. He brought out a few tears in kids! Overall though he made children laugh. Later we brought out a bag of candy and Elisha helped me hand them out. Then they all loved us. Even the adults wanted. A simple treat to us but huge to them. We then exchanged words of thanks with the grandmother and Jon on the team prayed for the grandmother and her house. Before leaving, Humphrey and I pulled aside the boys to talk with them and his grandmother. We made sure again that this was what she wanted and that the boys did too, especially Ayub since he seemed terrified. Once he got candy and talked with us, he was all excited to go. Of course he and his brother sat in the back with Elisha and Dan wondering what on earth they just got into.

Dominic and the house parent's boy will fill the other two spots. The girls are Mary, Christine, Mercy, Angeline, and the house parent's two girls, Mercy and Precious. (another Mercy! It is quite the common name here)

We got to Mattaw and all the children rushed out to the vehicle to meet their new brothers. They welcomed them and showed them to their house. We had planned for the kids to meet us at the gate and they do a big welcoming with dancing and singing from the gate to house three. It was 2pm by this time and everyone was hungry. So we went into house three. We did a quick introduction of house three kids and house three parents to all of our children, staff and team. Then we prayed and ate. It was a BIG feast! There was roasted goat, chicken, pilau, and potatoes. Everyone was full and happy. We then did a goodbye for the visitors. No fun! But I saved the cake for after we left to brighten the mood. Betsy made a few cakes and I made some, so they had five cakes to indulge in later. Right before we left, the truck pulled up that was delivering the mattresses. We were able to unload and make sure they were all there. The children from house one and two were thrilled to help the new children make their beds and fix their room. It was getting late by this point so we left the rest in our staffs hands.

The timing and welcoming didn't quite happen right but all that matters is in the end a new family has begun at Mattaw Chidlren's Village. It was such a full and joyful day. Another dream come true. I look forward to sharing pictures of our day and the many more stories to come of these children growing to be "oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His spelndor". (Isaiah 61:3)

Truly created to be part of days like this.


NeNe said...

What a wonderful day. Even without pictures you relayed the glory of it quite well. Praise God for providing a home and family for these children, and providing you with the privilege of taking part in his plan.

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