Thursday, November 19, 2009

Final Post from Zim

Right this very minute, I am sitting in an internet cafe in the town of Victoria Falls. I am still in Zimbabwe, but on the border of Zambia. The bus trip was better than I expected. It was air conditioned, AMEN. I got very sick in the first 30 minutes and thought I would vomit all the way. Sorry....just being honest. I prayed. It passed. As simple as that may sound, it was a miracle to me. The 12 hour trip was just a lot of the same scenery over and over. People, towns, trees, and baboons. I also so one family of little monkeys. I wasn't miserable.

The closer we got to Victoria Falls, the funkier the trees. There are some massive trees here. The trunks are about as wide as 7 adults standing side by side.

My last days in Harare were very good. Tearful. Wonderful. Solid. I got to see Felix one more time. I stained some bookshelves in the room that we were redoing. Today is the reveal. I am not there. It's fine. I left the project of selecting the final 8 boys with the missions coordinator. She knows them all personally. They will receive their surprise tonight. Suzanne will then email me all the info for me to pass on to the sponsors. There are only 4 sponsors for these final 8 boys. My generous friends. I love you.

I made a plea to the missions coordinator that I really wanted to return to the Zimre Park Rose of Sharon home so that I could see the teens one more time. It was hard to organize, but it worked out. As much as I loved our party on Saturday, my heart just really wants to know them better. On the outside, they are beautiful, joyful, happy and so full of the love for Christ. This is all amazing and a blessing.....but I wanted to hear their stories. When I think of them, I just want to know them like friends.

I showed up. They all greeted me with happiness to see me. I love their hugs. They are very strong hugs. When I visited with them previously at their school (before the party day) I shared some of my story with them. On Tuesday in the privacy of their home, I asked if any of them would share. And I made myself available to answer any questions about my life. 3 precious orphans volunteered their story. They stood one by one, in front of their entire orphanage family, and told me their plight. First was Boaz. My special one. Second was Keldon. Keldon is 19 years old. He has to leave the home forever, in December. December 18. Finally was my sweet Sarah Tendai.

I will share their stories with you when I get home. I cannot do it justice here in a noisy internet cafe where the Shona language is loud. Their details rocked me. Wrecked me. Maybe even messed me up. But their hope, the joy they have found, the King that they love........ its like a massive dose of comfort, overflowing in my soul.

I'll leave you with my journey today. I woke up early and had coffee in the rest camp in an open air restaurant, topped by a thatched roof. I walked toward the falls. I knew it would be a 10+ minute walk. I am a little intimidated here entirely by myself. The locals harrass me for money. They want me to buy the items they have stolen. I do honestly believe that God sent me an angel. His name is Evar Innocent. For whatever reason, he protected me and walked me to the falls where I entered the park on my own. He didn't ask me for anything. I spent about 2 hours inside the park. The roaring sound of the waterfalls overwhelmed me. Before I could even see them, I was in tears. I took photos, which I am sure will simply not do justice. It is truly majestic and amazing. I will upload photos and video when I get home.

I left the park and as I somewhat expected even 2 hours later, Evar Innocent was waiting for me. He actually helped me find this internet cafe. The tourism police made him leave me alone twice. They told me he is a liar and a thief. I told them he is not. He hid behind a building and when I walked past, he joined me again. When I leave this internet cafe, I am sure he will find me again. Don't worry, I'm not taking him to lunch, and the security at the rest camp will not allow him in. When he brought me here, I gave him $3 for helping me. Evar Innocent, my own personal tour guide.

I am hungry now. It is lunch time here and I haven't had breakfast. Soon I will eat and then I will rest. Tomorrow is my journey home.

I sure do miss my boys at home, and I desperately miss the kids in Zim. I just truly thank God for putting this mission on my heart, for providing funds through all the ones who have helped me get here, and for all the sponsors who are helping the kids. I am so deeply grateful, and I continue to be humbled by all of it.


Pete Ahlstrom family said...

God continue to go with you, Melissa. The four of us here have been following your blogs, and moved by them. God give you a safe trip home, perhaps even a little sleep on the way this time!!! And a broadened ministry when you find yourself home again in the States.

"Lolli" said...

I love you...I love your heart...I love your service...

Sarah said...

An angel named Evar Innocent. How perfect!

I'm so glad you had some solitude to enjoy the majesty of the waterfalls.

Will look forward to hearing your friends' stories.