We parked the car and as soon as we exited we were promptly greeted by many. Chairs were brought out for the “visitors”, and there we sat…in the rain…surrounded by smiling faces! Sarah’s Mom’s sister, Rukia was among them. Because of Sarah’s Dads mental status Rukia was going to decide where to place Sarah after she is finished with our program. So, we sat and discussed with her some different options…
We brought with us a camera that had some pictures of a now almost 13 pound Sarah, and the pictures were a huge hit! While Charles, Rukia and I talked, Brigitte showed the growing number of family members and friends Sarah’s picture! She is a beloved daughter, Granddaughter, sister, niece, cousin, and friend to many, and that was evident in the faces of those surrounding us. Every time a new comer would join our little gathering, they would be sent to Brigitte to see on a little screen the child they all thought would never again be seen on this earth. After seeing the pictures some would shake our hands and thank us profusely, some would raise their arms to the sky thanking and praiseing the Lord, and some would just walk back to their seats quietly, dumbfounded, but all smiled and laughed with clear JOY. I got so enamored with watching their faces and seeing the awe in their eyes that I would have to remind myself I was having a conversation… One of my favorite parts of the day was watching Mary’s face as she looked at a picture of her little sister…
She was not there when we first arrived, and when she came sometime later, I almost did not recognize her. She was not the same scared, despite, hopeless little girl I met almost a month ago. She looked so grown up, so strong and beautiful! So full of JOY! I had tears in my eyes as I watched Brigitte turn on the camera, and ladies and gentlemen let me tell you, I then watched the biggest, most beautiful smile I have ever seen in my life spread across a 12 year old girls face! It was priceless. As she turned and walked, or should I say skipped back to her seat on the half broken bench she could not contain the happiness that filled her, it spilled out, and bubbled over into her face! I don’t think she stopped smiling the whole time we were there.
As we concluded it was decided by the whole family that Sarah will go and live with her Auntie Rukia at the end of May! I was so excited to see that her family cared for her so much and was willing to do the necessary things to ensure that she has a safe place to live, and someone to care for her well! They wanted to make sure that she was able to remain their family, yet not fall sick again!
As we prepared to leave and start our journey home, Sarah’s Grandmother slowly stood up, raised her arms to the heavens and started to sing a prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord. After a few seconds everyone chimed in, and we stood, surrounded by a chorus of beautiful praise! The young, the old, and the blind, all together, unashamed, they sang and danced before the Lord. I don’t think it gets much better than that!
Part of Sarah's family
Well, as we headed home we had no idea what was coming next, well, we kinda did… you see on the way to Sarah’s house we stopped to pick up one of their neighbors who was going to take us the rest of the way, as we didn’t know how to get there. VERY long story short there was a little boy who was brought to us while we were stopped, he was very malnourished, and in need of some major help. We said we would stop on the way back and talk with the father more (the mother died back in Nov.). I had been praying about what to do because as Brigitte is leaving in just 2 short weeks I did not really want to take on another “Sarah”. But, well let me just say, we ended up with a couple of extra passengers on the ride home… All that to say, we have a new baby in the house! Meet, Becaham, yes like the famous soccer player.We got all of his paperwork through yesterday, and the Dr. said he thought he would be fine; they didn’t even try to admit him. He said “I know you will care well for this baby; you are ever bringing in these very sick ones, but they become ok very fast. You just take this one home.” So, we did! The Doctors at the clinic know we work with malnourished children, but I think sometimes they think I am crazy when I go in there with a kid like Sarah or Becham. Anywyas, we have ourselves another 13 month 6 pounder. Prayers please!