Thursday, November 11

As if it were possible, our days seem even more filled with activity than they had been when we first arrived. Perhaps it’s because we’re nearing the end of our journey here, and we’re so intent on accomplishing all the things we hadn’t yet had chance to do.

Our morning started out with raucous laughter as we were trying to dream of ways to help fight the threat of parasites in these children. It was a serious conversation as we talked about what a difference shoes would make because it was the constant exposure of these barefooted children to the dirt that caused part of the problem. But when Rachel suggested that we buy thongs for all of them, the rest of us burst out laughing. We knew that was another word for flip flops, but the picture that conjured up tickled our funny bones.

Painting a cross on the wall of the church was something Pat felt led to do as we had been painting the interior walls earlier in the week, so on Wednesday, he sketched out the cross that they were going to paint, and today, he and Louaine painted it. Their artwork brought beautiful color into this sanctuary, and the children watched in anticipation as the picture took form.

In the medical clinic, Alycia, Melissa, Rachel and Travis used the eye charts that Rachel had printed up to determine what strength of reading glasses people would need. The eye charts were the verse from John 3:16, printed in different sized fonts, so as soon as they could read “For God so loved the world that He sent His Son,” that would help determine which pair of glasses we would give them. Across the hall, Matt was working in the lab with the lab tech, Robert. Robert delighted in showing Matt how to keep the records for the patients they were seeing, and even taught him how to draw blood and read the smear under the microscope. For the patients that have been coming through the lab, approximately one in three have been testing positive for malaria.

Melissa and Travis seem to be kid magnets, and wherever they go, they have multiple kids holding their arms and hands and hanging off their hips. Juliette is a little girl that comes from morning to night so that she can be with them.

Linda was delighted because today, she had the opportunity to go into town with the group going to purchase supplies, so she and Robert and Al went in search of some of the supplies while Tom and Chris went with Pastor Wilbur to sign the contracts for the purchase of land to add on to the farm project. Sara spent much of the morning helping to sweep out the sanctuary, and she had a little friend who stayed by her side and wanted to sweep along with her. She taught the girls how to do the electric slide, and she spent over an hour inflating all the rest of the soccer and playground balls we had brought with us. The kids love playing with the balls, but the rough terrain and thorny vegetation quickly takes its toll on these balls.

Joe once again worked with the men who were spraying the stucco onto the exterior of the church, while Bo and Bonnie continued their awesome work in the dental clinic. Alycia and Michelle went with Teddy to the True Vine Ministry office to check out what they would need for computer equipment to make the orphan project a little easier to manage, and while they were there, they taught Teddy some basic computer skills. She was so excited as she learned how to open a Word document and begin typing, and she can hardly wait for her computer classes to start. As we walked back to the church, Teddy danced with joy the whole way! Back at the church, some of the women were anxiously waiting for the knitting classes to begin, so as soon as we returned, we began to teach the basics of casting on, knitting and purling. Some of these women caught on very quickly, and for some, it was a bit more of a challenge. It feels good to know that with the books and patterns and supplies we are leaving behind, they will be able to begin some easy knitting and crocheting projects and will be able to teach the other women in the village.

Al had a wonderful opportunity to speak to the men at the men’s ministry time in the church this afternoon. He felt blessed as God used him to share some thoughts about being Godly husbands and fathers, and their worship and fellowship time brought great joy to all who were part of that.

As we ended our day, some of the teenage girls were arriving for their choir practice, so they took time to teach us some of the dance steps that they do as they praise the Lord with song and dance. It was pretty comical to watch us try to emulate their moves, although Alycia did quite well. When it was time to go, one of them asked Bob if she could carry his bag for him, so as we were heading toward the bus, Bob asked her if she had fun teaching us, and she said she liked it very much when black and red danced together. We all burst out laughing, because she was referring to Bob’s sunburnt skin!

Our day of laughter, hard work, and the feeling that God has a purpose for each of us on this journey has filled us with great joy.

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Hope 4 Kids International is 501c3 faith-based non-profit committed to help children around the world that are suffering from extreme poverty through Dignity, Health, Joy & Love.

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