Friday, July 18, 2014

Chapter 17 - Update #4 - July 19, 2014

On Thursday night, we were able to go to visit the children at Raining Hope Children’s Home!  In one of the next update you will hear from the team members with their own words what that first day was like.  When we drove up, all the children came running to the gate!  On the other side of the gate before it was even opened, I could hear squeals of delight!  They all began to chant, “Strong and Courageous!” which is one of our life verses for Raining Hope (Joshua 1:9).  As the gate opened, all we could see was smiling faces and children jumping up and down for joy!   They ran along with the van until we parked.  Many of them were holding onto my hand before I even got out of the van!  As the doors of the van opened, the children not only swarmed around me with hugs...but they went to all of the team members and graciously welcomed them with hugs and smiles!  One of our team members said they have never been so welcomed anywhere in their life!  

We went inside and had a sweet time of introductions!  The children of Raining Hope blessed the team by singing songs of welcome to the visitors. They had about 5 songs prepared that were all about welcoming them to Raining Hope.  I sat in tears for how the children genuinely loved on the team.  They sang and danced their ways into our hearts.  

We had a “strong and courageous” competition!  Whenever I say, “And we are going to be...”  the response of the children is always a loud and strong, “Strong & Courageous!”  LOUD!   I then turned to the team of 5 and said, “Do you think you can be louder than them?”  We gave them a chance...and they did well but just couldn’t match the voices of the children!   

The children also know how to recite Jeremiah 29:11 “I know the plans I have for you.  For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  But they recite it in voice and sign language.  One of our young students, Henry is the one who now leads them in this!  It just brings joy to my soul to watch them live out this verse.  They truly believe that the Lord has plans to give them a hope and a future.  

The majority of the time that evening I just had the children spend time with the team.  It filled my heart to overflowing to watch the initial moments of the children just embracing the team.  One of moments that will be etched in my heart was when the some of the older boys immediately went over to Pastor Doug.  I normally lead teams of all women.  So to see the boys just connect with Pastor Doug was beyond words.  He is spending some amazing time getting to know them and speak truth into their lives.  Now that some of our boys are so much older, they are in need of male mentorship.  Doug later shared with the team some of the conversations he had with them and it showed me a glimpse of why he was here on this team.  

When it came time to go, the children all escorted us back to the van.  As we drove away they again sent us off with a round of “Strong & Courageous!”  With those words resonating in our minds we completed the day filled with hope & encouragement.  The team felt extremely loved by children they had just met. 

When the team debriefed the day, I wish you could have been a fly on the wall to hear about what they had just experienced at the home and how it effected them.  By time it got to me, all I could say was , “You know, as a parent, whenever someone compliments me on how wonderful Kiana is, it just fills my heart with such joy & parental pride.  That is what I felt tonight.  All of my children at Raining Hope just loved on you all so much.  I am so proud of how they are growing up to reflect the love of Jesus.” 

As a mum, my children at Raining Hope made me proud that evening.  My team felt deeply loved as did I.  

More soon! 
mama eydie kisakye! 

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