Wednesday, February 24, 2010

1 Parachute + 2 Hours

What do you get when you combine 1 parachute and 2 hours with the kiddos at CCF?!

Lots of fun!

[Koiboi has hair! He looks so grown up with hair!]

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Three Years

[The first photo of me in Liberia. I got in alot of trouble for carrying the blocks on my head!]
Three years ago, today, I was waking up in Liberia for the first time. I can remember that first drive from the guesthouse to the orphanage--full of anticipation and excitement. I remember thinking "what in the world am I doing," followed by, "I can't believe this is actually happening," and probably feeling like I wanted to barf. I only slept for about an hour the night before because it was SO HOT! I was tired, but the adrenaline kept me going. [Who would have ever thought that three years later, I would be tired, but the adrenaline would still keep me going?!]

I would never in a million years imagine my life like it is today. Never did I think I would get to travel to Africa, much less live there AND work with children--that was only a dream in high school. I have met so many like-minded people--friends, and some even family--and I have encountered Jesus in the eyes of so many beautiful children; but more importantly, I have drawn closer to my Father and have a better understanding of His love for people. I can't even imagine my life without all things Liberia, and I can't imagine how different my walk with Christ would be. It's a good thing that He's the one who makes the plans and He's the One who's guiding and directing!

I have learned so many things over the past three years--about others, about the world around me, about myself, about God--but the message remains the same. This morning during my quiet time, God reminded me of why I'm here. He said, "Seek me with all of your heart." That's what this whole thing...this crazy Liberia adventure...this whole journey is about--seeking God with all of my heart.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Prayer for Korpu

Would you all join me in praying for Korpu today? Today her life is going to change. She's moving out of her orphanage home and into a foster home. Pray for the adjustment. Pray for her new family. Pray for the children that she's leaving behind. Pray for the connection between Korpu and her new mother. Pray that Korpu would experience love and attention like she has never had before. Pray that she will thrive.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Week #1--JOY

I had my first experiment with iMovie today! Here's some footage and pictures from the first 6 days back in Liberia. This week, we are teaching the kids about joy. What better way to celebrate joy than to come back to Liberia! I realize that the song is normally considered a Christmas song, but I absolutely love it! Unspeakable joy has happened a quite a few times this week! From being reunited with kids to 3 kids getting donated hernia surgeries to getting another new vehicle because of a generous donation...God is GOOD! I hope this brings you alittle bit of joy!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Phew, I'm Exhausted!

Today was a long day. Here's what my Wednesday looked like:
I woke up at 7am. Got dressed and took my Bible and journal out on the porch for some 'quiet' time. And I say 'quiet' because that doesn't even exist in Liberia. Had porch prayer time with the girls before Deb and I hit the road around 8:30. We had to go out to Firestone to pick up our 3 boys who had hernia surgeries yesterday. The kids had no idea that Auntie Ashley would be picking them up, or that I was even back in Liberia, so they were pretty surprised! Lots of big hugs! After discharge instructions, one last chocolate pudding and ride in "the room that can move" (aka an elevator...the only working one that I know of in this country!), and goodbye hugs and kisses to nurses, we were on our way.

Quick stop for juice and biscuits for the kids. Then we stopped at Cotton Tree to check out the construction progress and to say hi to Uncle Matt.
The construction looks great and the guys were all working hard in the hot sun!
Back on the road again, the kids passed out during the 45 minute drive. Took Fumbeh back to his home. Then back to the house to pick up some children's tylenol and Joshua and Jeremiah got some time to show Ma Mary, Momo and everyone else their battle wounds. Then it was off to Frances Gaskins! Couldn't wait to see these kids! And they were totally surprised! Spent some time under the plum trees with the afternoon breeze (can't beat an afternoon under the plum trees at FG!) and the kids dancing, singing and making music. I enjoyed sitting on the bench, Lucky holding my hand on one side, Jolene holding my hand on the other side, Hannah on my lap and a few others playing with my hair. So then it was off to CCF to take Joshua home...and to see my kiddos! I absolutely LOVE these kids! And of course, I couldn't wait to see "my son," Koiboi! The kids were happy to see me...lots of hugs and smiles...but Koiboi was nowhere to be found. We sat on the porch, talking and playing. And then finally, Koiboi came strolling up the hill, kicking rocks and minding his own business. I hid behind the porch column, and peeked my head out when he got closer. He looked up, saw "his Ma", gave his bluffing smirk and walked right to me. He sat in my lap for the next hour...and he pooped on me. Welcome back, right?! That's the sign of a great day...being totally exhausted, covered in dirt and poop, really smelly and ready to eat some cassava! Headed back to the house around 4:30 and ate dinner. After dinner, we all headed down to Kendeja to take a dip in the pool. Great way to end an excellent, but exhausting day! Now it's 10:20pm, and I have no clue how I've managed to stay up this long! Hopefully I can post some videos soon, but until then, goodnight from Liberia!