Thursday, August 14, 2008

back in california.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom i trust."
-Psalm 91:1-2

i got to sleep in my very own bed last night. an actual mattress and down comforter, and i could hear nothing but the world sleeping. i miss the sound of the crickets and the buzzing mosquitoes. i miss being cold and hearing the chickens fighting on the roof. but mostly, i miss hearing the words, "sleep well, butterfly," or the prayers of three dearly beloved children who love God so much. i miss that world, i miss the companionship. i already feel so lonely in a place where i am surrounded by people who love me so much. so much of my heart is there, it missed it's flight.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

full of hope

"Let us conquer the world with our love."
-Mother Teresa

it is hard to believe that we leave a week from today. sometimes i lay in bed, and it feels like i am not really here. what a blessing it has been to actually be walking on this soil, to feel the african sun on our skin, and to smell these peculiar smells. i can't thak you all enough for helping and nudging me along the way.
the baby haven was a bit more quite yesterday. the older children were at school, so that left us with festus, ahmedila, and baby grace. they were all napping when we got there, that was until festus saw us and refused to go back to sleep. he is still so weak and is always mumbling for water. he gets frightened so easily by loud noises and he has a hard time bringing the cup of water to his mouth. my heart aches for him, and his future. however, ahmedila was crazy today and would just burst out in happy shrieks. he was quite the handful, but i love seeing the joy in his little, chubby face.
after some chaos with our cameras, jessie and i decided it was best to maybe not bring them again today. the young girls got a little carried away with them and it distracted them from actually watching the children. these girls are so young and basically go to school and then live at the baby is not everyday that you see 10 to 13 year old girls carrying the responsibilities that they do everyday. they sleep there, and yet there is no bed in site. i feel bad for them and wish that i could give them more. we have one more day tomorrow and then we had back up north to see my girls.

Monday, August 4, 2008

a bit of a break.

we had a bit of relief when we arrived at the baby haven and the kids were less brutal. there were a couple of more children playing, some were neighbors that come visit, but one was dropped off by the police. they found him waundering the streets barefoot, and brought him to the baby haven in hopes that maybe his parents would call and they could bring him back home. this seems to happen a lot here, sometimes the parents know they are sick and their children can't be cared for, so they let them waunder off.

today we were able to learn a little more about the history of the baby haven, it is run by this fabulous woman named, Lulu. some of the kids were brought as babies and our little festus was brought with his brother, who died just this last year. when we arrived, we could immediately sense something was wrong with festus. he was very weak, had a hard time breathing, and couldn't even feed himself. jessie tried to egt him to finish his yogurt, but other kids came along and tried to eat it too. we just took turns in holding him and comforting one point some random drunk guy came in and asked jessie to take a picture and nearly sat on the little guy. we left heartbroken, and at the verge of tears. i think that kind of set the pace of the day, there were only a few attacks from the kids, some were sleeping, and some just wanted to be babied. it was much needed after a rough day before. i posted some pics, the one of festus and i is one of my new favorites, my wonderful jessie took it. she is so talented!

thank you again, for taking the time to check up on us and for your prayers and support. it gives us a new hope each day.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

the baby haven.

jessie and i paid a visit to the baby haven today. we were gretted at the gate by a chubby little girl named martha. she walked with a little confident strut and immediately put her arms up to be held. there were 7 beautiful children sitting outside in the shade with the biggest smiles, and right away they were kissing and hugging us.

there is a 5 year old who is so small, he can only walk if you hold his hands. his legs sort of just fold together when he lies down or sits, and he is just the most bashful angel. i find myself drawn to be close to him at all times. the other kids are more outgoing and demand to be carried on your back or to be held, and festus just sits there (since he can't really physically get around like the others) and stares at you lovingly. he is just happy to rest against your back or to recieve smile or kiss.

it was a bit difficult at times, due to their disease and the lack of attention they get from the outside world...the kids would punch us and kick us. it would actually hurt, and at one point, jessie and i had a pile of kids on us and one little boy named zolani, approached us with a shoe and a large plastic toy and attemted to throw it at our faces. it is so sad to see this and to feel the repercusions of their state of being. they will do anything to get your attention, and if that means by hurting you, they will do it. so we spent much time being beat up, getting bit, and comforting other children who were getting hurt too. you don't want to choose who to hold and who to baby, because you just want to love them all, so i find my heart torn between all of them.
this place of shelter is surely a comfort to them, and i am so grateful to the days we will spend in loving on the children....even if it requires us coming home with a black eye or a broken collar bone hahaha.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

last day up north.

i am back in windhoek for a couple of days. i picked up jesse from the airport and we enjoyed the namibiam culture in the city. it is so different from the north...and i miss being in ondangwa. we were able to pay a visit to the baby haven after some searching, and the blessing of a little child that led the way. we made it to the area and once we were there we had no clue where to go, so we stopped at a school to ask if they knew where it was. we recieved no input from the teachers and as we were leaving a little girl followed us to the taxi and described where it was....and we found the blue little house and were able to come in contact with the supervisors and we will return there today and help out.

the kids were small, but full of so much joy and curiousity. we almost left with one of them, he kept copying everything jesse would say. we will plan on staying here the rest of the week and volunteering there, and then return to the north and see the family up north again.

thank you for your prayers....our internet is slow at uploading sorry for the delay. miss you all dearly.

these pictures were taken my last day there, Ndamungululwa loved playing with my hair and wanted to make look "very nice, " as she would say in her accent. after a good hour this was her result. i love this little girl, and i want to bring her home with me hahaha.

Friday, August 1, 2008


"In the face of the oppressed I recognize my own face, and in the hands of the oppressor I recognize my own hands. Their flesh is my flesh, their blood is my blood, their pain is my pain, their smile is my smile. " -Henry Nouwen

i arrived in ondangwa on friday. it was a 9 hour bus ride, but this was not your ordinary bus. there are things you see on this bus that you don't see every day. i saw extraordinary things and throughout the ride there, we would make the most random stops. at times, i was scared to get off the bus for a bathroom break, because i was scared that when i got back the bus would be gone. however, i made it to ondangwa and was greeted by one of the most wonderful person i will ever meet, my namibian sister maggie. when we arrived to her place, her younger sister josephine and her niece Ndamangululwa Konghenda Yomwa (her name means God set me Free) were waitng outside for us. They are so beautiful and Ndamangululwa has so much joy and is always singing and dancing. There is no electricity here so the first night we just ate and cooked in the dark. i really couldn't see what we were eating but it involved us eating with our hands and it had the consistancy of play-dough.

this world is unlike any world i have ever been in, and i am learning so much from them. they have hardly anything and yet everything they have they offer to me. actyally, take back that statement, they have EVERYTHING i want, and i hope to learn everything. they are so rich in spirit and are so young and yet so alive in who they are. i am trying to live as they live, an not take shortcuts with the things that i have. i had a snack bag of wheat thins that i have been craving since my time here, but i would rather eat what they eat...and then leave the food for them when i leave. i feel so helpless at times, not knowing how to cook or wash my own clothes...i haven't bathed in a week because i don't know how to keep the neighborhood children from following me when i try to hide with my bowl of water and bathe. or maybe its just that i love being with them all, that i always want to be in their company.i came in hope, that i might encourge them, and yet i am the one who leaves with so much faith and love. it is scary at times being here and having people follow you or try to grab you becausee you look different and yet my fear is diminishing because the love i get from my namibian sisters. tomorrow my dear jesse arrives and i am so happy to be able to have a chance to share this love with another person. i am a bit homesick, and i miss my family and friends and yet i know that i have so much more to learn and love here. thank you so much for your prayers. i will update more tomorrow.