Saturday, March 19, 2005

Bittersweet

Wow...only one week left. It amazes me how quickly time flies.

I've come to realize that 2 weeks is more than enough time to fall in love with 15 children/teenagers. They've "wiggled" their way into my heart and planted permanent "stakes". When I leave, a large piece of my heart will stay here at the Ark in Okahandja. On Thursday I had the opportunity to cook dinner for the kids. I also made them chocolate cake with whipped cream for dessert. They were so happy afterwards and the question of when I had to leave came up a couple times from the kids. I cried myself to sleep that night at the thought of having to leave this week and I fear that I've done something wrong by loving them and allowing them into my heart (and becoming a part of theirs) only to leave them after 3 short weeks. Please pray that I will have the strength and the comfort that I'll need to leave, and please pray the same for the children.

This week I was able to work with the care & compassion ministry. What poverty...what need..it's unbelievable. There are thousands of people living in tin/metal shacks..with no running water...and sometimes with just enough room inside for a bed (or just a mattress on the floor) and maybe an end table. One of the patients that we normally would visit passed away last Sunday (before I had a chance to meet her). But she left behind 3 children (ages 9, 11 and 15). Her sister-in-law is now their care-giver. She is only 20 years old and also has a daughter of her own. If we're unable to locate any other family to help we will try to see if there is room at the Ark for them. There is so much that we could do for these people...teach them to grow a garden, buy them a couple chickens, teach them other skills that could bring them income. At the moment, we don't even have a car...it's very difficult to help these people the way that they need when there is no transportation. A lot of times we have only enough time to drop off food and ask how they're doing. I am praying to see if there is anything that God would like for me to do...including the possibility of coming back for a longer length of time to devote to this ministry.

Thank you Liz, Tammy and Heather for posting comments. They have been a great encouragement to me. And thank you also to everyone who has been praying for me...your prayers have been felt. Everything has run so smoothly and I've been so blessed. This may be the last time I'll have a chance to post before arriving at Franfurt airport a week from today. And then it will only be a few short hours before arriving back in Canada. I'm very excited to see everyone again...I wish you could have all been here to experience this with me.

This week the children have no school due to their Independance day on Monday, the Easter holiday, plus their new president. I will have a lot of time to be able to spend with the kids and I think it will be a great way to spend my last week.

I hope and pray that you are all doing well and I look forward to "catching up" on your lives when I return home.

You're in my thoughts and prayers!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Dana! I miss you lots! I finally figured out how to write you without setting up an account. I know I'm kinda slow when it comes to computers! Mercedes is doing well, but missing her mommy. When I visit her she sits on my lap the whole time! I think she's getting fatter! Anyways I'm glad to hear you are having a wonderful time. I wish I could be there with you. Maybe you can sneak one of the kids in your suitcase and bring them home :) I'm praying for you. Love ya lots! Talaya

Anonymous said...

Hi baby...

Heather told you had a blog- what a great discovery! I caught up on your stories...
Sounds like you are seeing first hand the unbelievable poverty in Africa. IT's just crazy, eh? Are there a lot of squatter's camps near you? I remember living down the road from a massive one outside of Johannesburg. You are in my prayers...it takes a strong girl to go into these places you know...
I just want to encourage you to give yourself TIME when you come home, okay? You will need time to process everything that you have seen, heard, experience...and then there is another culture shock experience...hahah...don't you love it???
Anyways. I look forward to hearing what God has done in your heart.
love
anna