Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Relationships Building

The wonder of our Lord is that He is so accessible to us in the common things of our lives:  the cup of thanks.  A simple attitude of caring, listening, and lovingly telling the truth.
Nancie Carmichael

This morning as I looked at the calendar, I realize we have been here now for seven weeks.  It's hard to believe.  Time has flown by.

At times, things seem to be moving slower than we would prefer, but I realize that God is now laying the foundation for our ministry here.  If the foundation is not secure, then anything placed over it will struggle to stand.

Over the past seven weeks, God has been beginning to seal relationships.  We've been able to see a transformation in the children we serve and in our own selves.

When we first began visiting GMI, one of the orphanages FTO partners with, the children would hug us, but at times, for me, it didn't feel completely natural.  I suppose because I didn't feel connected with the children completely.  My heart was only partially engaged.  Now, however, when we walk through the gate, the children bombard us.  I struggle to kiss the top of every single little head.  I pull them tightly to me, thankful to give a moment of true love to each child holding onto my legs.

Now, I also watch all of my boys PLAY with the kids.  They swing them around, tickle their ribs, kick soccer balls, and simply do what boys do - Have Fun!  As their mother, I don't think I've ever been more proud than to see them giving themselves away to these precious kids!

 The boys take the privilege of hugging these children seriously.  Most of the time, when I look around the compound, each of the boys is hugging or playing with someone...or two...or three.   Honestly, I've become very thankful for our family size of seven because that means there is more of us to go around. Some of the bonds with these kids run very deep.  Children we have fervently prayed for, we are now holding.  What an indescribable gift!

There are also children, like Mousy, would not even make eye contact with us a few weeks ago.  Now she is all smiles when we are together.  I'm hopeful that means she is coming to trust us.  When we leave the gate, we are able to say, "We will be back soon."  I think she knows now that we mean it.

Seeing my husband, Reid, love on these kids has made me fall more madly in love with him!  He is constantly throwing children in the air,  swinging them around, holding their hands, hugging them, holding them.  He's been able to give "Daddy hugs" to Richard for Mark every time we visit the home.  What an honor!  It's been a JOY to see Reid being a consistent male figure in these children's lives. Thankfully, in this home, John Nyavor is loving them well as a Daddy, and our family is simply trying to come alongside what he is already doing at GMI.

 We've been blessed to meet new faces in Ghana too, like Abigail.  She has been here for six weeks shadowing doctors and dentists here.  Over the past few weeks, she has visited villages and orphanages with us.  It's been a blessing to see what God is doing in her heart.

 As a mom who loves pictures, I am still guilty of "posed" photo opportunities, but I'm becoming more aware of that.  Our life here can not be "posed."  We must be real and transparent.  I simply want to capture what our family is experiencing because the smiles of these children bless us beyond measure.  For each of them, we want to care, listen, and love.
From my last post, you can probably tell at times I am truly overwhelmed by the need.  God is showing our family that we need to love the one in front of us.  Whoever that may be.  (Thank you Katie Davis!)  We may not ever meet the needs of all, but we might meet the need of one.  That's something.  One.  

We..."only meet the needs of some people; ...only scratch the surface ....God assures me this is okay.  If I continue to preach the gospel, and more important, live the gospel, here - even if outward conditions never change or change slowly - and these people can live eternally with Jesus in heaven someday, a few years of suffering will pale in comparison.  In the meantime, He allows me to see Him in their faces and to love Him by bandaging their wounds and letting their charcoal-and-mud-covered children curl up in my lap."   
-Katie Davis, Kisses from Katie, p.190-191

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