Well, we are exhausted. I have to be honest and say that the hours leading up to this party were very difficult. We just sensed much spiritual battle. But, the party arrived and it was a really great time. I can't tell you how fun it was to be with these kids. Some memories that stick out:
- Packing our car full of little Zambian kids. There were supposed to be two other cars helping us, but it didn't really pan out... Needless to say, our car made three very crowded trips in our Land Cruiser.
- Doing ministry with the Whitfield Family. What a blessing it was to have this ACTION family plus their parents helping out in every way.
- Watching the kids do this relay race where they had to turn around 5 times and then do a somersault and then jump on the trampoline.
- Watching them eat and drink all scattered out on the lawn.
- The shouting and dancing and singing that happened after we told them that they were going to receive a present from someone in the U.S. who knew their name and was praying for them. They sang an African song that went something like "All good gifts come from the Lord." So cool that my friends could be used of God to bring such joy to these kids.
- Watching the pure exuberance of each child and adult that received a present.
- One lady after receiving her presents kelt down on the ground and led the group in prayer.
- Seeing them open the cards and pictures of my friends and family who had given them these presents.
- Watching Kamryn and Bradyn involved in giving presents and helping these girls.
- Now Steph's highlights:
- Seeing a young teenage girl who is normally very withdrawn and reserved stand up and jump her way up to the "present seat" when it was her turn. Everybody was just as shocked as I was because they all burst out laughing and applauding.
- Being blessed by their servant hearts. The living room was a disaster after all of the presents had been opened. I was in the kitchen putting away some leftover food items when a few kids walked through with big arm loads of trash, brought in extra dishes to the kitchen and one girls came and asked for a broom so she could sweep the floor. I had nothing to clean up. (Miriam will have a few dishes to do in the morning though....:)
- Also, you may be interested to know that Zambians open the card last, after the gift.
- Seeing how perfectly the food worked out. We had spaghetti, garlic bread and fresh green beans. There was about 1/2 cup left of spaghetti sauce (Julie Turner's recipe was a hit, except they came and asked for the salt), a few noodles, no green beans and no bread left. Everybody was able to have as much as they wanted before the food ran out. This was a blessing because I really had no idea how much to cook for 50 people. (Lorraine Clegern you would have been proud of me.) (I had great fun cooking the sauce over this charcoal cooker thingy). Miriam came in for the morning and helped out with all of the food prep. Man am I getting spoiled!!!!!
Having all of this help sure make entertaining easy.
If you sent a gift we did take individual pictures and will get those to you as time allows this next week. There were about 9 kids who were not able to make it tonight due to going away to visit family for the holiday break. I will keep those gifts and make sure that they are delivered as soon as I see them.