Well, it´s almost 7am here in Frankfurt. My plane landed around 5:30 and my next flight leaves at 1:30pm. I will be arriving in Detroit at 4:30pm (10:30pm Germany time-11:30pm Africa time). Last night´s flight was a long one and I didn´t get much sleep so I´m looking forward to a 9 hour "nap" this afternoon.
It was very difficult to leave Africa, and especially to leave the Ark. I can´t tell you how incredible these kids are. A couple of them wrote me letters before I left which were beautiful. 6 of them came with Lazarus (one of the house parents) to drive me to the CHI center where I would be spending my last night. I can´t wait to show you all the pictures and introduce you to "my kids". (Roll #19 is in my camera right now and is halfway done - for those of you who were wondering!)
Care & Compassion this week went pretty good. The 20 year old woman (her name is Memory) has decided to keep the 3 kids her sister-in-law left behind. One of her aunts had a "dream" in which Tenguay (the woman who passed away) told her that she wanted Memory to take care of her kids. But I´m excited because now Memory wants to start her own business where she will bake and sell "cakes" as well as chips, coke, etc. We´re going to help her get started and also help monitor things to make sure she´s able to get it going properly. This ministry is incredible. I feel like we´re doing the work that Jesus did while He was here. We´re providing them with food (as well as money for their doctor´s appointments), and spending time with them. A lot of them have already given their hearts to God and have questions for us when we visit. Unfortunately I learned some very sad statistics this week. A high majority of the women in these poverty areas, by the time they´ve reached the age of 18, have not only been raped, but have usually been raped an average of 4 times. These women don´t see any way around it-this is a way of life for them. It´s incredibley sad. Our newest patient is a 12 year old girl who is already too sick to attend school any longer. When we first met Monika, she had what looked like blue ink all over her lips and on her shirt. What is was is the medication that they use to dry out sores. When we got a chance to speak to her mother, we found out that she has HIV and that no one else in the family has it which leads us to believe that she must have been raped. Rape is not something that they are usually willing to discuss. Monika may not have even told her mom....one of the "urban legends" or "myths" that a lot of people believe, is that if a man has HIV, and he wants to get "cured", he has to have sex with a virgin. In South Africa it´s even worse, they believe that it has to be an infant - not just a virgin. Please please please pray for these people.
Well, this will be my last entry before returing to Canada. I will continue to post some stories and pictures when I get back. Thanks again to everyone who has been praying for me (and taking care of my Mercedes!), and I will see you all very soon.