This morning I awoke at 6:40a.m; too early, in my opinion. The door creaked shut from the morning breeze coming through our barred window. Kat, my roommate, seemed to still be sleeping contentedly, and I closed my eyes again for a few minutes. I lay there thinking of the day’s agenda: get up, prayers, breakfast, go to work, do laundry, and cook. "I might as well get started with it all," I thought to myself. I opened my eyes to sunlight streaming through the window, and birds happily chirping the morning away.
|Not actually my house, but it gives you the idea. :)|
Trash is strewn along the little dirt roads that lead to Hisani Orphanage, my current place of work. Half way there we walk along the edge of a schoolyard, filled to the brim with children. Despite that they all have identical uniforms, we somehow spot three children we know. With there being so many people in Tanzania, I find great delight in seeing some that I know personally. As we near the orphanage we pass a group of motorcycle guys, each of which “love” us so much.
We are greeted by Junior. He sees us and smiles/laughs so hard his hands go in his drooling mouth and he begins to jump up and down. Some days I find his little laugh annoying, but I scold myself for such thoughts. If Junior is happy in his early years, then let it be so because there is no telling what life will bring to him as an orphan in his later years.
|My sister with Junior|
I sat on a cool tile floor with several children. We laughed and joked, even though we couldn't communicate very well through words. We played clapping games and sang songs. We watched baby Kulwa splash happily in a tub of water. Jackie, just nine years old, is one of the more responsible children as far as caring for others goes. When I look into her face I see a girl who’s had a hard life, but is full of determination to not let anyone mess with her anymore. She is rough and she is firm, but she is still a little girl with a hunger for love. Jackie came over to sit on my lap, perfectly content to stay there until another child comes to try and take over my lap.
Jackie found a pen somewhere and pretty soon my arm was tattooed up. When Jackie finished, Elina, eleven years old, got a hold of the pen. She wrote “Sveta anapenda watoto”, meaning “Sveta loves children,” on my hand. I was honored to have her say this because I often wonder if the children care at all that I am there.
Abram is a new child. The first day we saw him there he was hitting children, and so I sat him down to say “sorry.” When he refused, we sat quietly while I held his hands “You can go play when you say you are sorry,” I told him. After ten minutes he whispered the word and I let him go. I was sure that since that was our first encounter together he would hate me. Surprisingly it has been the opposite. At first sight of me, he runs to claim my lap first. It surprises me that such a rough six year old boy would be so content to just sit quietly on my lap.
After an hour of holding children, soothing crying children, laughing with children, getting overrun by children, and playing games we take our leave. I often scold myself for only taking an hour of my day to spend with these children, but it gets tiresome. However, leaving forever in November will be one of the hardest things I’ll ever do. I treasure the moments I have at Hisani because my one desire is to love children who have no love, and I want them to know the greatest love of all, Jesus Christ. I know that I have a long way to go, but I hope that right now there is at least a spark of Him that they can see in me. I am a blessed woman to serve “the least of these.”