Friday, December 12, 2008

zim baby

i literally only have 8 minutes to type

it is friday here, at 9:56 am.......it is 1:56am in nashville, tn

i have visited 4 orphanges, the 5th is today. one of the homes i have served in twice and hope to spend the rest of my time there. there are 40+ children there. they eat one meal a day. they wear the same clothes every day and wash them once per week. they love love love to sing and play. some of them just want to be held. i am giving and receiving more than my fair share of hugs and kisses. it is unbelievable. i cannot describe it here in words.

i will tell you 2 quick stories.

many of the kids do not speak english but some do, and very well.

a few days ago, a young boy probably about 28 months old was rescued on the side of the road where he was found lying next to his dead mother. he was opening her eyes and trying to get her to wake. now he is in a strange home. he is afraid for people to shut their eyes...afraid they will not wake up. he is BEAUTIFUL. they do not know his name, so they call him "knowledge". i got him to laugh yesterday, and it was by far the gift of my day. turns out....he is tickelish. he also loves to receive kisses on his neck when you make the hungry chewing sound. he has my heart.

another child has my heart. i cannot spell his name, but is sounds like "Tintonin". he is probably 5 or 6 years. he has the most gorgeous face but he is incredibly skinny and he does not smile. he was rescued from the "brush" (aka wild) and he has siblings still in the brush. he is worried that they are not eating. he has only been in the home for a couple of weeks. he looks starved and sad. he walks up and puts one arm around my waist to let me know he wants a hug......and what do you think I do????? i hug him until he nearly breaks. i took a photo of him and showed it to him....it scared him. he didn't understand. i took a photo of us together and showed it to him and he smiled. he smiled. i managed to get a photo of him smiling. i will frame this photos and never forget these children.

i cannot tell you about all of them. they have a good, bad smell. some of them have aids. 3 children at this home have cholera and are dying because they cannot get the meds and do not have enough water or liquids to rehydrate. they die from dehydration....not cholera itself. one died the day before i arrived.

2 of the children walk around and look like death to me. one little girl has fallen asleep on me 2 days in a row, and she should be full of energy. her name is patricia. she is the same size as shawn, but is probably 2 years older. i heard her sing yesterday for a moment. it was lovely.


*********

my bug bites are healing and not itchy. they killed me for a couple of days. i now have luggage....but it was so appropriate that i did not have luggage for 4 days......as living without is the way of zim. it is the only way. my south african friends cook lunch and dinner everyday. they offer the greatest warmth and hospitality and the food is good. 2 others have arrived so we have 6 in total now. 4 of us are voluteers and 2 are staff. last night we stayed up late without electricity and wrote poems by candlelight. we could each only contribute one word at a time. the poem is both deep and funny. i haven't laughed so hard since i got here. they want to know about america and amercians. i am asked some challenging questions, but i tell them the truth. they all love Jesus.

****

i have been here 7 days and washed my hair once. yea....it's nice. i do get to wash with soap. we rarely have electricity except for a couple of hours in the evening, while everyone is sleeping. the spiders here are gigantic. i sleep under bug netting because it is friggin scary not to.


*********today we are going to a boys home....of older boys. we will spend most of the day...then we are delivering food and baby supplies to the babies with aids home. we have been there once. today we will spend more time. i forgot to tell you that during the 2 days we spent at the home i love (the Hatcliffe home) we painted 2 rooms, in addition to delivering a ton of food and supplies. my journey here involves physical work and a lot of loving on children. i am taking photos and getting video.


******finally before i get cut off here.......my nights, when i crawl into bed, i think of my children until i fall asleep. man........it is hard to be away from them. and even though spencer is older, he is having some tough times right now as it seems he and dana are broken up and i am worrying and missing him terribly. he sent me a text that was sad.........and i worry. i miss everyone, but i am not ready to come home. God has been so amazing to bless me with kids i have a heart for (here in zim) projects that i love (painting) and with people who are curious and want to know about america (my south african friends). i am fully filled with the love of Christ....He sustains me every moment. it is good.

4 comments:

Pat Skow said...

Melissa, I cannot imagine the sights you have seen. How does one help these poor children? God Bless you and the children!

eveannunziato said...

You're such an inspiration. You will be such an incredible blessing to each sweet child, and I know they will leave an everlasting place in your heart, too.

keep up the amazing job in the mission field - I admire you for following your calling and passion.

Can't wait to read more (oh, and you can write more in 8 min. than anyone else i know!)!!!!!!!!!

Sarah said...

I was thinking the same thing. Wow! What a lot to tell in 8 minutes. The story about the little 28 month old whose mom died really moved me.

I believe that Jesus is hugging and loving these children through you, and it is such a beautiful thing. You are in my prayers.

jennicatron.tv said...

So amazing! Praying for you. Love your updates. See you soon!