It's hard to believe that this is the last day of our trip. Today the team went back to CIPI in the morning and stayed until the afternoon. The orphanage was celebrating "Family Day" and needed some extra help with the children. We all pitched in wherever was needed, doing crafts, Bible Study, praying, playing, holding, loving, and even skateboarding. :-)
I had the privilege of helping with the teen girls, where many times I had to choke back tears after hearing some of their heartbreaking "stories." They have experienced such pain, rejection, and even utter abandonment. Veronica, 15, was crying as her amiga tried to comfort her. She said that she and her 3 siblings were living in the orphanage. This morning, while we were there, her mother came to the orphanage and took Veronica's 2 younger siblings home with her. She said that she didn't want Veronica or her other sister and left them there. Veronica was sobbing and her heart was broken. I tried to imagine would it would be like to be a 15 year old girl and know that you weren't loved or wanted by the very person who should love you the most.
I heard many other stories, some much more graphic and just as painful. I am so thankful to have been able to hug Veronica and tell her that she is beautiful and special and that God loves her and created her for a purpose. We took every opportunity to hug and love on as many girls as we possibly could. They all responded with hugs and smiles and more hugs. We gave a lot of the girls who could read, Bibles and they were so very grateful.
As I look forward to going home tomorrow and being reunited with my family and friends, I have to wonder what I will say about my experiences this week. How can I put into words all that we have seen and done and felt? I am grateful for the friendships that I have made, as we have co-labored. I am grateful for those we were able to minister to in the name of Jesus. I guess my prayer will be that I will go home a changed person because of the ways I have seen God work here. Lord, help me to die to myself, and follow you...Luke 9:23