Monday, October 31, 2011

Another Day in Africa

This was at a well where we stopped to pump water for people.

My friend in the red dress and my make shift nail salon!

You would not believe the number of children dressed like this or worse. Today we saw lots of children with no clothes.

Pastor Timothy's Church on the island. This is the place that does not have an orphanage.

The truck in the picture is loaded with the posho and sugar. This is the food that Pennies for Posho purchases each quarter to feed the children.

Don't you just love their smiles. Most of the children have never had their picture made or probably seen themselves. They loved when we turned our cameras around and they could see themselves. They all just giggle.

Boys on the island. They dry fish on those nets to boil and add to posho.

We are having a difficult time with the internet here but we wanted to share a couple of pictures. I can not upload pictures from my camera so we are just adding a few that we took with the bloggie camera.

M and A - We talk about you to everyone. We miss you terribly bad. A - I painted fingernails for hours today and I was thinking about you the whole time. I needed you here to help me. M - I met lots of boys your age today and told them about you. I wish you were here to play ball with the boys. We wish you were both here. We love you very much!

Today was my hardest day yet as far as having to tell the children goodbye. I can not even begin to put into words the images we are seeing. Yesterday we took a 20 minute boat ride to get to the island to visit a church. They were the poorest children we have seen. There is no orphanage in this area so these were the children that just have to sleep where ever. Pennies for Posho is making plans to build an orphanage there. No one had on clothes that did not have rips or holes. Most did not have shoes and if they had them they were very worn. The smells were overwhelming. Because they were on the water, it was very fishy smelling and then added to that is body odor. Most have never had a bath. Let that sink in for a minute. I had to take a cold shower this morning and the water went out during it but I would not complain because to the people I have been meeting a cold shower is very much a luxury.

We walked for a long time to make our home visit. Each day we go to an orphanage we also make home visits and give the families 5 pounds of sugar and 5 pounds of posho. We walked mostly uphill through a corn field to get to the homes. When we arrived, their homes were mud huts. No electricity. No running water. No bathrooms. About thirty people lived in this community of mud huts. They brought us out chairs and then they sat on the floor. They were so appreciative of the food. It was very humbling.

Today we rode for close to 3 hours to get to the orphanage and church. We were very close to the Kenya border. The children were singing and clapping as our bus drove up. They are amazed by our white skin and immediately want to touch us. I grabbed hands with one little girl in a red dress. She had a smooth bald head. She told the interpreter that she was 4 years old, but she was tall for her age. She was beautiful. Her smile would melt you in seconds. She stayed with me for most of the time and sat in my lap for a long time. Then another little girl came and sat in my lap. Her name was Brenda and she was 5 years old. She was tiny and did not have any shoes. She stayed with me most of the time. She sat in my lap along with my other friend in the red dress. We never could understand her name. Brenda got so comfortable that she laid back on me and rested her face on my upper arm. She then began to rub the rest of my arm.

I wanted to take her with me. Her face was as black as night and she had big brown eyes. Because of her poor nutrition the whites of her eyes were not really white. I painted her fingernails, along with hundreds of other children's. I cried when I had to leave her. That is what made today so hard for me. I have not had that connection with any other child...just Brenda.

Most of the people where we have been visiting live in mud huts. They draw their water from a community well. They do not have any electricity. You would not believe the conditions. The pictures you see on tv that you have to change the channel because they are too hard to look at, well they are real. And I just have to praise Jesus because when the bus doors open and you greet the people a love that is only Jesus just flows. I can almost feel His strength coming out of me. I think that will be the thing I miss the most about Africa. Jesus had healed my stomach and taken my issues with the smells away.

Today when I was painting fingernails, I was pouring sweat because the children were just pressed in on me. I am sure they smelled but I did not smell them. I just loved on them through a bottle of blue nailpolish. Even the boys got their nails painted they just love the attention. And you would not believe the excitement when we bring out the sweeties (candy). Each child only gets one smartie or one dum dum sucker and they are beyond thrilled. For some it is the first sweetie they have ever tasted. And for most of them it will be the last they get until another mission team comes.

Cliff and I said when we come back, yes I typed WHEN, we will bring a suitcase full of candy and shoes. Keep Praying!

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Malissa said...

I LOVE reading these stories!! I am just so happy for you guys. I don't even know how to respond... praying! love you guys bunches.

Malissa said...

Hey Cliff and Laurie,

Malissa and I are praying for you guys! We are keeping up with the blog.

We cannot imagine what you guys are experiencing right now, but we want a full report when you return!

If we can do anything else for you, just name it.

Just know that you are shining the light of Jesus Christ to a land that may not know of him.

This world is full of the darkness of Satan, and sometimes, our brothers and sisters in countries like Uganda may not know that light and hope exists.

Carry His name on behalf of Him and all of us back home. We are with you in spirit.

OK, so here's the preacher coming out in me. Here are some verses to encourage you:

Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.
1 John 2:8

For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
2 Corinthians 4: 5-7

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4: 16-18

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
James 1: 17

We love you guys! Go in the Spirit of God and do your best! We will see you Saturday.


MES said...

I am so thankful that we can hear these stories from Africa. Please soak in every moment of this incredible opportunity. So many people are praying for you! Every night, Thomas prays that Jesus will touch your hands 'so sweetly' so that you can love on the children in Africa. After seeing that picture of you hunched over, painting little fingernails ... I know his prayer has been answered. We love you. I can hardly wait to hear every detail! Michelle

Kristie said...

Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. Praying for you and the children of Africa.

JFloyd said...

Cliff and Laurie,
Thank both of you for letting the Lord lead you. I know through what you have shared that this was His plan for both of you. I know through this visit you have changed the lives of the children you have touched- you are being His hands and feet! I am praying for you and for the children of Uganda.