We'll, I've been here for 2 weeks now. How can I possibly describe all of my experiences to you! Currently, I am living in a small house of volunteers amongst the little houses of the orphanage children. It is hot and sunny here and to think of snow seems so strange!
These are the little houses that about 6 children live in with a house mother. There are 22 houses and we live in one of them. I live with 2 other girls who are so sweet. There are 3 German girls, an American (who works in a different part), and a Korean guy here volunteering. It is great because we hang out together and share life. Here are the kids going off to school in their uniforms. Most of them go to a school in the community but the education here is really bad.
These kids have come from all sorts of very difficult backrounds and the social welfare system of South Africa has given these kids to Lily Of the Valley because their parents are no longer able to care for them becuase of AIDS, or sexual/physical abuse, etc. The kids have so many issues and they need so much love and care.
It is actaully very challenging to care for them. They are street kids who have been toughened by abuse, abandonment, and neglect. On top of that they have all sorts of medical issues and some are disabled. Somehow we think that orphans are these little angels who can do no wrong and are perfectly humble and thankful for everything, but they are actually very tough. Many times they can be so selfish, demanding, ungrateful, and disrespectful. It takes a long time to break through their hardened hearts. I have been learning so much about God's love through that. Because that is exactly who God loves to pursue. Every morning He says to me, "Christy, love these precious children who I have created! Show them how much they mean to me! So far the world has not that well, but I want you to show them how precious they are! And remember you are really just like them, Christy!" His love burns on and on and never fails.
But saying all that, in the last couple of weeks, I have been getting to know these faces and these little children and have been FALLING IN LOVE with them!! They are all so precious and even with their problems, they have such life, playfulness, and joy. I hope to share with you some of these kids especially so you can pray for them!
In the last few weeks I have also had some very unusual experiences, good and bad:
To my excitement, I learned that we live right next to an animal reserve and so in 5 minutes we can drive out to a safari where we saw zebras, hippos, rhinos, bucks, and even giraffes!
The second night I was here, I got one hour sleep because about 50 blood thirsty misquitos were trying to eat me alive (it sounded like a motorcycle race in my room). I had a misquito net but they got inside of it. That was one moment I really wanted to start crying. But problem solved and I get good sleep now, THANK GOODNESS!