It rained on and off today, it was just like it is in the spring but nice and so familiar because of it. It was another early day with another wonderful dim sum breakfast. We went to the orphanage around 9:30 and spent the morning supervising the kids as they painted part of the stairwell blue- we would have helped but there were so many kids wanting to paint we couldn’t even get in there! We all had lunch together at the center and played for awhile before heading out on a grand adventure. We took the kids to the Village we biked to yesterday, we packed onto two buses and made our way down the bumpy windy road. They definitely loved it and we spent most of the early afternoon dipping our feet in the river and running along the floating bridges and through the Village. We got lots of pictures and even ran into some of the guys who were part of the project that poured out the concrete for new ping pong tables for the center. One of them especially, a Mike from South Carolina, was very nice and wanted us to know he was a believer and that he thought what we were doing was awesome. It was great to talk to them even if it was just for a short time and with children hanging from our arms. I have a new favorite Chinese Phrase: Wo Ai Ni. I love you. I’m glad I am now able to tell the children that I love them, I think they understood before but now I can verbally communicate it as well which is wonderful. The list of things I wasn’t expecting in China is growing- my day started with Gangnam Style at breakfast and ended with Lady Gaga’s Poker Face tonight at the Orphanage, we even had french fries with dinner, so random! The list is longer but at the moment I can’t think of anything else specifically. After getting back from the Village the team headed back to the hotel to rest for a bit then had dinner before going back to the Orphanage to do a program and watch the kids perform. We sang He brought me to his banqueting table and did the actions with the kids which they really seemed to enjoy and did two puppet shows with Jeffu, Lucy, Dashan and Billy. They seemed to enjoy the puppets but had a hard time understanding the messages, tomorrow we’ll do the whole puppet show in Chinese so hopefully that will help. The kids also performed for us-they did a Chinese Modern Cinderella that apparently one of the volunteer teachers wrote last summer and sang a song. It was completely wonderful and I felt ours was rather lacking in comparison to what they did for us. They are all so talented and so willing to share and love, it’s mind-blowing. We’ll have another early day tomorrow doing sunday school with the kids and then we’re going to have the kids make their own sock-puppets. Should be lots of fun, I’m looking forward to it! On that note though I will say good-night. I am exhausted and don’t feel very good so please pray for me!-Actually pray for all of us, we’re all rather tired and Phyllis opted to stay behind at the hotel tonight because of a cold that wont seem to leave her along. Marilynne’s throat is also feeling scratchy and I don’t know about the guys but we could all use some prayers for good health. Love you all and missing home, but loving it here!
Little hands cling to me
big brown eyes stare up at me
“hello’s” from all sides
I’m in a big tug-of-war between 87 children
and I really don’t mind
I hug them close and sing songs they don’t understand
I whisper “I love you”
and hope they never forget it.
I’d forgotten my heart could hold this much love for so many people
part of me wants to bring them all home
while the rest of me knows they’re probably better off here
but oh, it breaks my heart to think of leaving them
I hope tomorrow stretches on forever
and monday never comes
because “good-bye” is not something I want to contemplate right now
and “see you later”
isn’t good enough for me
when I know that “later”
could be years away.
Lord, give me strength.
And let them know they are in my heart forever.