Dark:30 in the morning. Guitar, children singing in Hmong. I have come across 15 time zones; have been traveling on planes, trains, buses, trucks and motorcycles for 40 hours. It has been worth it.
Yesterday afternoon I bumped my way through the gate on the back of Chala's motorcycle.
For the first time I get to see the children's home we have been working so hard to keep alive. I am exhausted, I am stoked, I am trying to keep clear so that I can accurately assess. I am responsible, not only to these children and the families who are daily taking care of them, but to all of the people who have decided to work with us in supporting this home. It is my responsibility to make sure that trust is not betrayed, that the children are well cared for. I am on point.
35 children ranging from 4-14
About ¼ acre of land 30% of which is taken up by the cast concrete single level house
The children are active
The children look happy
The children look healthy
The adults look tired/hard worked
The property is clean
There are trees and shrubs and vegetables and flowers growing inside the walled property
Dinnertime comes and the children jump to their duties-no yelling or threatening needed
Dishes set out
Food set out
Rice, vegetables, a spiced dish made of fresh caught pigeon
Peaceful prayer at the table
Orderly, peaceful, efficient cleanup
Net-less volleyball and marbles in the yard interspersed with soccer duels and a brief laughing water fight
No sign of anger-these children are happy to be alive and home
My stomach is too messed up from travel to be able to eat much but the pigeon is really tasty. Chala and his wife insist that I take their bed for the night. They sleep on the floor-I have given up insisting that people not take care of me. I lose consciousness quickly.
The singing shifts into prayer. Prayer for God's peace in the home prayer for God's provision, prayer for God's blessing on my family back home and for God's blessing on all the people who are keeping this home alive. Prayer shifts into questions to me about my home and family. I give them a bit of an English lesson. The children are really stoked when I tell them about all the people who care about them, who are praying for them and who are joyfully giving money so that they have a house and food to eat.
It is working.