As I come up on being a month here I have so many new experiences, is it so hard to share everything. I wish I could write everyday. It is restful here and challenging here at the same time. My days are so different, so much slower than New York, but a lot of new things. But I will try to give you a general day in the life of Christy in South Africa.
I am up at 6am, usually to run on the dirt road near the orphanage, with cows or worthogs (yes, worthogs!) grazing nearby. Then I drive some of the kids to school and staff around (in a rickety stick-shift on the wrong side of the road!). After, I come home for breakfast and do a variety of different things, such as home visits in the community, some of the administration work in the office, or food distribution. Then when the kids come home we do a tutoring/after school program with them. This week I will start some counseling groups with the older girls to help them talk about abandonment, rape (yes, a lot of our young girls have been raped), having no parents, living with many health problems, etc. I haven't done much with children so you can pray for me!
Many things that I have been doing are new to me, not necessarily my gifting or experience, and so I have really come up against times where I am saying to God, "Oh! This is hard! I am not cut out for this!" But God says to me, "All that I require is that you love me, love these kids and depend on me everyday!" How many people in the Bible said that very same thing and that was no excuse to God and they did great things. And so I have been depending very much on God everyday.
We finish up our days around 6pm and then the volunteers come back to our houses, often cooking and eating together and talking. It feels like a very old fashioned lifestyle here. We have a TV, but not much to watch, no telephone in our house, and just each other (no other people in our lives) to keep us company. We have nice houses, with clean water, but sometimes it is not running. I have come to appreciate the simple pleasure of running water! We also do not have full showers, just a spray hose, so I am not sure when I will be really clean again! Not for a while! But hey, who cares! I am in Africa!
Today, I am going to several homes in the community where we distrbute food to the poor, to follow up on their needs. We distribute food no more than twice to a home, so that they don't become dependent; but then go to their homes to transition them into helping themselves more (like teaching them to grow their own food, helping them get care they need, etc). That will be interesting I am sure! I'll tell you more about it!