MY SCHOOL BOY ~
Wednesday I got to take Amidu to school! He was soooo excited to show me everything!! He said I need to discuss with his teacher things, and to tell him no more flogging! So, I did. I had a little parent/teacher conference with Daniel and prayed over him as he leads the large class of 35 in such a small, hot space that would make a PTA in America go stone-crazy psycho. Daniel, the teacher, told me about his struggle and desire to attend college and how he cannot continue because of financial difficulty. This is the case for so many Africans, but the orphans with Komeo are all ridiculously amazing students and the funding for them has allowed some of the kids that have been raised their whole lives in the orphanage to now attend local universities — and kill it there!!! I’m so grateful that Komeo is helping them get the education they need that will give them a FUTURE!
At the end of the day, a sweet boy, Emmanuel, walked me down to “collect” (African lingo) my son. He held my hand the whole way as all the boys do when they lead us up and down the hill. Emmanuel shares a suitcase with Amidu that includes all their clothes and any possessions. Emmanuel has taken Amidu under his wing and became a close brother to him, teaching him, sharing with him, helping him read, and even helping him with his English. I am so grateful for Emmanuel, because I cannot bear the thought of leaving, but I know Amidu will be in good hands, and that gives me great comfort.
Emmanuel and I were waiting for Amidu when school let out, and as we were walking up the hill, Amidu and Emmanuel had a conversation in their language and I asked what they were saying. Emmanuel said, “He asked why you were down (the hill) and I told him ‘it is for your sake’ ”. He just smiled so precious and humble, just grateful his mum picked him up from school. 🙂
Thursday we had a 3 and 1/2 hr drive to a village called Makeni where we visited a blind school for children. A man named Francis that used to live here was visiting from Indiana to minister to these precious children. CAN YOU EVEN IMAGINE – being an orphan, no mom, no dad, no family, only getting one meal a day (if that!) – and ALSO not being able to even see? Some suffer blindness only for simple cataract issues that would easily be repaired in the US. This great man and his church have committed to sponsor the school food for 1 year!!!! When Pastor announced this to them, the children stood and clapped, yelled and began singing worship! It was incredible.
After we spent some time loving on the precious children there and touring the facility which includes a slaughter house that they had taken over, we headed down the road to a hotel and had lunch. It was here that my sweet Amidu had his first taste of pizza and his first ice cream! He LOVED IT!! We then headed another hour and a half away to let pastor surprise his 12 r old daughter at a boarding school. He was so thrilled to see his little girl!!
The entire day was taken up by traveling to these villages, we missed the children at the orphanage so much – but it was such a special time because it was during this road trip that we had time for Pastor Hassan to share with us his story from the beginning. He shared with us all of the details of his even humbler beginnings when he took in the very first baby girl, Virginia. Someday I’ll just have to record him giving this amazing testimony so that I can share the inspiration of faith he poured into us as he shared passionately all that God has done. It is not my story, and I certainly would not do it justice to tell it, but it has changed me forever. I have never met a man closer to the wisdom, faith, persecution, and favor of Job as I have seen in Pastor Hassan.
When we arrived home, we were so sad to see that several of our wide-smiling boys were ill. Samuel, Summer’s new son & my sweet Immanuel were both in so much pain. Another young boy, Foday, was it terrible pain from a hernia he has been suffering with. All we had to offer them was ibuprofen and prayers. It was heartbreaking to say the least. 😦
You see, this is where the sponsorship becomes so important. Right now, without full sponsorships, the children have some very basic needs met.
BUT – once all of the boys have FULL SPONSORSHIP ( my new goal in life)
things can be added to their monthly benefits, such as A NURSE!!! And sufficient medicines to help them when they have malaria, toothaches, and need surgeries for hernias. Full sponsorship will also afford security guards (so their generators don’t continue to get stolen), cooks for both orphanages (instead of one where the boys have to go down to for their meals, basic uniforms, etc.
KNOWLEDGE IS NOT POWER. APPLICATION OF KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.
BUT — KNOWLEDGE IS NECESSARY.
Awareness is everything, and that is the power of social media in the times we live. That’s where I come in to Komeo.
Yesterday I was asking God what on earth I am here for, but, now I know. Other than loving on them – there is a need for social media to help spread awareness, to help people that would want to help to SEE and for revelation that they do not know what they do not know. So, when I return, Shanna has asked me to revive the Komeo blog and help with the facebook and other media opportunities.
I am elated to help in this way, because I know that awareness is EVERYTHING. The only reason I am a foster mom is because I was made AWARE of the need right in my own city. Once I was aware, my life changed. I just know so many amazing people – friends and family – that I know – if they only knew these sweet children, their stories, and the very little hat can be done to make such a difference in their life, their world would be changed.
Friday I stayed with the boys while Shanna went in to town and Summer took Samuel to have his aching tooth removed.
The sweet boys taught me an exhilarating African dance. I only lasted a few rounds of dance practice (African dance is NOT slow dancing!) in the heat, but the boys and girls lasted for hours!
My favorite part of today was sitting on the cement wall watching the boys play soccer. It was beautiful outside, and I could see the ocean in the distance. The boys were doing their favorite thing and I was so grateful to see them just be kids!! Running, playing, and enjoying themselves. They do so much work, washing all of their clothes, keeping the orphanage clean, studying all. of. the. TIME. It was BEAUTIFUL to just witness them be beautiful, playing children. I’ll never forget it.
MY NEW SON, SWEET JAMIE
Later in the evening, Gabriel was sharing with me how the boys get new names. The originally have muslim names, but when they are baptized or when someone with great love wants to give them the gift of a new name, they can change. For example, Gabriel was originally named Alhassan, but when he was baptized he was given the new name, Gabriel. He explained to me that as Amidu’s new mum, I should give him a new name and that he will never forget it and how special it would be for him.
Gabriel, Amidu, and I sat together and discussed this precious name change, and I asked Amidu if he preferred to choose a name or for me to choose, and he said he wanted me to give him a name I choose.
James… I chose James for him, because it is my favorite book in the bible, and also as a namesake of my Uncle James that died when I was a little girl. But I told him I will call him Jamie, just as my grandma called my uncle.
He smiled so big, and Gabriel told us with a big smile, “Amidu is no more!” He also taught us the proper way to finalize it is to buy some candy to hand out to all of his brothers and sisters to introduce him by his new name. So, Amidu — I mean, JAMIE and I decided we will do that tomorrow…
at the beach. 🙂
African loves of my life: Emmanuel, Gabriel, & Amidu, who became Jamie just moments before this picture was taken. ❤
I LOVE U STACEY AND I WANT U TO COME BACK AND SEE US
~above typed by Gabriel, so I’m keeping this here forever :))