Updated: Jan 6
Getting to experience life at the orphanage, along with CeCe,during this last trip, was such a unique opportunity to have.
On one of our trips there, we (CeCe and Ashley) spent a full 24 hours there with the children and staff, living life right alongside of them, giving us memories that we will probably never forget. I wish you could have seen the children’s faces when we told them all that we would be spending 2 days with them as well as sleeping overnight. The place was filled with cheers once the news got out. 😊
Life there is not simple…water needs to be carried daily, not only for drinking but for all of their other basic needs, such aswashing the laundry, doing dishes and bathing. There is no electricity and so bath time is done by candlelight in the evening after supper is over and devotions are done. It’s quite the cute sight to see 3 or 4 little girls all standing in the tub at one time, soaped from head to toe, squealing with laughter, as cool waterwas poured over their heads. That memory keeps bringing a smile to my face.
I watched as the boys pitched in together to help
wash their clothing from plastic tubs. There were no complaints, this was simply everyday life for them. I was reminded again just how blessed I am and how much I can take for granted sometimes. For example, having a soft, comfortable bed and AC or a fan on the hot, humid nights. These children are living with very little and yet they continually seem to be able to find joy through the simplest of things. They had lots of fun teaching CeCe and me new games and laughing at the way we tried to pronounce some of their Liberian English words, traditionally
known as Koloqua.
If there was one thing that I realized the most
after spending so much time at the home, it was that these kiddos seem to have unending energy! Even after being out on the field to play soccer or kickball for a couple hours, the adults left exhausted but all the young ones were ready to figure out a new game to play once we got back to the house, despite the heat and lack of anyway to cool off. Needless to say, CeCe and I left to go back to our apartment very exhausted but with happy hearts.
As part of the daily routine, we assisted Prince and Tony with teaching Phonics and Math, which is something that I greatly enjoyed. It made me so happy to watch their faces light up when a new concept was given and understood. It was a bit chaotic though, as you might imagine with 28 children and a variety of grades, but we all managed to make it through without any tears involved. 😉 I could see their hunger to grow and learn more about God and the world around them and was so encouraged by it. Prince, who is the father figure to them, and Tony and Albert, our other main caretakers, are doing an amazing job at not only helping them academically but most importantly, feeding these children the Word of God on a daily basis. Besides their regular lessons they have scheduled devotion time in the mornings and evenings, led by Prince and Tony, along with a time of singing and prayer. It was not uncommon at all to hear little voices singing praise songs throughout the day as they played or didchores and I don’t think there are many things that sound sweeter. It is my prayer that all these children grow up loving and serving the Lord and I believe that, through the strength of God, Hope 4 Liberia is giving them that foundation.
After all the time spent at the orphanage, throughout the 3 weeks of being in Libera, I was given a whole new appreciation for Prince, Tony and the rest of the staff that are devoted to the lives of these beautiful children. It isn’t easy; each child came into our life with his or her own struggles and baggage so there are a lot of dynamics for everyone involved to adjust to but God is giving the strength and wisdom needed to make it through, day by day. These children all took pieces of my heart and I can’t help but love each and everyone of them. I can’t wait to be with them again!