Last week, I got to spend a couple days in Brigitte, and one day in the village where the orphanage is currently located, which is about thirty minutes down the road from Brigitte, where I was staying.
However, “thirty minutes down the road” is a little different than what you might be thinking. It’s not as easy as hopping in the car, and arriving at your destination thirty minutes later.
Here, you walk along the road until a motorcycle taxi is available. After travelling by motorcycle to one village junction, you find a taxi to cram into with at least 5 other people (you pay by the seat, so people squish in order to reduce individual cost). The taxi (which may or may not break down along the way) drops everyone off at another particular junction, and then you find one more motorcycle taxi to take you to your final destination.
And there you have it. A thirty minute trip to the orphanage.
And that’s how I got to start my day … without coffee.
Physically, there’s not much about this place that makes me want to kick back and make myself at home. It’s hot. It’s loud. It’s busy. And, to say the least, getting anywhere is usually a bit inconvenient. I find myself in need of a break pretty regularly.
Spiritually, however, this place is RIPE. It makes it a little more fun to be in such a physically draining place when I get to partner with the Lord in all He is doing here.
While in the village where the current orphanage is located, I got to meet with the headmaster of the school where the kids attend. He wants me to do a training for his teachers.
At first I thought, “I don’t know if I have what it takes to do a training.” But after observing their classes, looking at a few of their (few) materials, I decided that it would be a shame if I didn’t share with them what I’ve had the privilege of learning through my degree at Auburn and through some teaching experience. And now it looks like I’ll be doing a training for a couple of different schools in the area within the next few weeks. The schools here will be the first to tell you that they are in need of a lot.
After meeting with the headmaster, I walked to the orphanage with Frank, the Director. On the way, we met his neighbor who had a broken leg. She hasn’t been able to do much except sit on the front porch with it propped up for 2 whole months.
So I prayed for her. She still felt pain after I prayed, so I prayed again. This time, she said as soon as I placed my hand on her knee, she felt something pop. After the prayer, she said it felt better.
I then told her family that since they were believers, they held within them the same power that raised Jesus from the dead (Eph. 1:19-20), and that they can continue to lay hands on her and pray for her full recovery.
Now, she’s walking on it. Praise Jesus. By His wounds, we are healed.
Later that day, I got to do some inner healing prayer with two of the adults who help out at the orphanage. I got to watch the Lord bring healing to broken places in their hearts, so now they will be ministering to these children out of a place of freedom in their hearts, where there once was unforgiveness, shame, and bondage.
It’s so beautiful to see freedom released.
As the kids got home from school that day, it was play time. What a joy! I got to read to them Max Lucado’s “You Are Special,” and then I taught them the cupid shuffle.
Two of my favorite things: Reading to kids and Dancing.
I felt alive. With all the wonderful things that had happened that day, I had pretty much forgotten about all the inconveniences of my “thirty minute trip” to the orphanage that morning.
But by that time, it was time for my “thirty minute trip” back to where I was staying.
Oh Lord, help me.
Oh Lord, help me.