Last Saturday, the Ambassador and his family hosted a sports day at his residence for several local orphanages and homes for abandoned children, including Hope House. They invited me to come along with them, and I offered to bring several interns with me to help.
Hope House was by far the largest group there, and all of the kids seemed to have a blast. They played games and did crafts in the morning and pigged out on hot dogs, popcorn, fruit, and a ton of sweets at lunch. After lunch a self-defense expert showed them several ways to defend themselves (a few of them paid very close attention, so I'll be watching them!) and then they watched a dance group perform. The kids even got to perform a few songs, including one they've written just about Hope House (someday I'll post a video and translation for you). Anytime these kids get a chance to sing and dance, they love it! And it was so much fun for me to just hang out with them and enjoy them. Its only been a few weeks that I've been here, and I'm already surprised by how much each of them, with their individual story and personality, has captured my heart.
I was also able to make several contacts with people who wanted more information about Hope House and asked about ways that they can help. Unlike some of the other groups there, Hope House receives no government funding, so we're happy for any help we can get.
I also wanted to share a few praise reports and prayer requests with you. I know that there are so many of you praying for me, and I thought you might like some specifics.
- I continue to see God's hand each day, which is good because I desperately need him!
- We've been able to get some medical care for quite a few of the kids, including multiple ear infections and tooth pain. A lot of people have come together to help make this happen!
- There are some medical concerns that need to be addressed, and we need to find funding for these things. Please pray for wisdom in the best way to handle them, and for the necessary funds.
- Though I'm understanding more French all of the time, the language barrier is still frustrating. Please pray that I will quickly be able to both understand and speak at least some French, and for patience on my part when I can't.
- I'm continually trying to make sure that anything I do is sustainable - that is, that it will be able to continue even after I've gone. This is probably the most difficult part of my work here, so please pray for wisdom.
- Pray for local Gabonese believers to rise up in support of orphaned and abandoned children, especially those at Hope House, and be willing to give of their time to help. Pray also for wisdom and creativity in how to engage them.