Very rarely do dreams actually come true. So when they happen we have to be careful to stop for a moment, breathe in, and give thanks for the miracle of our lives aligning with our purpose. This has been a journey of deep hope and deep disappointments. A journey of love. One that is unending and unrepentant in what it asks of us. But today, the dream became a reality, the thing that I hoped for, became a part of my life.
Today we danced to a drumbeat. In our home, we danced and we laughed and I realized it was actually happening. Today I watched them grow young again. And all the fights with the contractor over why I have two shower heads and no hot water, and all the boda boda rides in the mud, and all the times I cried at what I could not give them when they told me of their pain....it all seemed worth it. I'd do it all over again, a hundred times.
I watch Janet shaking her hand-made shaker---a girl whose chest was crushed in by being stepped on over and over again by rebels....and I cannot believe we have come this far. Now, we are not just surviving, but we are beginning to live.
Pamela leads us in the songs and just when we think we are finished, she begins another...she doesn't want to stop. I am not forcing them to sing, not forcing them to be happy for me, the white person. Here, we are just a family and we are happy because for the first time we have hope.
Our house is a bustle of activity. With six girls and eight children inside and 2 women and 6 kids outside....we're like the African version of the Brady Bunch. With much less pig tails. The girls are teaching me to cook things I never wanted to learn to cook, and they show me their sewing skills Mama Shekinah has just taught them, so proudly that I want to start crying all over again.
All in all, we are loving 10 girls and 12 children day in and day out and it doesn't seem like a very big start, but for me, and for us, its all that matters. One life at a time....going deep with a few and I couldn't be happier than if we had a center with a thousand girls. I was born to do this.
So when the babies cry at night, I just smile because I'm happy the house is full.
I'm not a special person. I'm very flawed and yet I realized what a big difference it makes when one person finds their purpose and follows it without giving up. And even for those of us who don't know what our purpose is...we just start by loving someone and slowly, a life changes. What greater legacy to leave....
Jesus started with 12. I've got 10. But I think its a pretty good start. Me not being the son of God and everything.
For now I've gotta run home for lunch before class starts. I've never been happier to say that.
So for all the cynics, believe me, I understand...
but don't give up.
When it comes, and it will come, its what you dreamed before birth...what you've been waiting for all this time, without settling even when it was hard not to settle. It may never be perfect, but it can be close. So be brave. And fight for it.
Here, these girls are fighting for their future. I am too.
So believe in us. And believe in yourself.
Maybe someday we'll be together teaching each other about what can happen when the world is brave enough to hope.
Note: Big thanks to Kelli Brazzel for coming over and doing some medical treatment for our girls. If you're interested in volunteering contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: I'm going to be in the States in Charlottesville and DC for two weeks due to a family emergency...until Nov 13 and am looking so forward to seeing family and friends. Please contact me via email during that time if you want to get in touch with me.