Monday, October 24, 2011

Looking Back: One Year Ago Today–Church and Another Orphanage

Sunday, Oct. 24, 2010

It was a good day! Hubby was feeling better and I didn’t feel as nauseous as last week after taking my antimalarial, so we got to go to church as a family. It was an awesome time of worship! I had tears in my eyes, just thinking about how this was a glimpse of heaven when we’ll all worship together, from every nation, tribe, and tongue. David did a blessing for Pastor Peter and I cried through that, too. 

It was different from American church – hardly anyone was there when service started and the entire time people just trickled in.  They worship with freedom – hollers, whistles, dancing, clapping.  It was awesome.  Their offering time was truly joyful, as well.  They all walk (or dance) up to the front to put their offering in one or more of several different offering baskets (one for men, one for women, one for children, one if you are thankful for something, etc.)  It was very hot in there, and the benches are far from the cushy seats we all think we need in our American churches, yet you won’t see them complain.  They did a receiving line afterwards, and it was cool to greet everyone. They treated us as honored guests, providing us with resin chairs and having us sit in the front, as well as  insisting on giving us all cold Cokes or Fantas after the service. The Congolese are some of the most generous, giving, serving people I’ve ever met!

IMG_1565IMG_1566IMG_1571Blake and Lauren were quite popular!

IMG_1576The men sat on the right, the children in the center, and the women on the left.


At one point when I was standing in the back of church with an antsy baby, for curiosity’s sake, I counted the people there. There were 79 including our group. We found out after church that one of the head guys of DGM was there. What are the odds!?!? God is so cool! The guy said he’d get our stuff done on Tuesday. We are hopeful and optimistic, but ultimately trusting God, not men.

We had lunch and then sat around hoping to go to another one of the orphanages. We sat in the sitting area and shared about all of our church backgrounds, which was cool to hear how God has worked in so many lives. We were able to go to Mama Ruth’s orphanage. It was a million times nicer than the orphanage Blake and Lauren were in. It felt more like a family home and there were no more than a dozen kids living there. We had a meeting with the lady that runs it – she’s a widow. She was very appreciative of the gifts we brought. We asked her  if we could hang out with the kids and she said that we could. They were not as ready to play with us as the kids at the other orphanage. Some were downright scared. There were two little boys that we tried to play hide/chase/tag with. One of the boys really got into it. There was an older girl (maybe 16?) there who was beautiful. I thought she was working because she always had a baby with her, but I found out that she’s an orphan, too. Heartbreaking. I had James translate to tell her that she had a beautiful smile. She just blushed and grinned. Precious soul.

IMG_1584IMG_1586IMG_1591IMG_1593Here’s the sweet girl I mistook for a caregiver.  I didn’t get a picture of her smiling, but she could light up a room.  I pray for her future…I don’t know what will happen to her once she “ages out” of the orphanage.

IMG_1594IMG_1599Trying to get him to play.

IMG_1600I ran around all silly and played tag with Hubby and then the boys followed suit.

IMG_1601IMG_1602 He busted out into some cartwheels.  He’s so stinkin’ cute!

We headed back then to our Sunday night fried chicken dinner at the guest house. Yum. That’s my favorite of the week. We played more Bananagrams, too, which is always lots of fun. We’re excited for tomorrow! (We are picking up their visas and possibly starting the DGM process, the last step before we can bring them home!) Praying it goes well!  Blake fought sleep again tonight for about thirty minutes, the little stinker. : )  I guess he just loves us so much he wanted to spend more time snuggling and walking the halls with us!

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