Off & Running
a Blog of Life on the Run

October
18,
2014

Taking Care of the Widows and Orphans

A Friday Visiting Those in Need

  

It's weird not being "busy". Our alarms go off at dawn (which is really early here). We're not in bed until hours past sunset. There is little to no downtime. But we're not busy like we are back home in America. Busy just to be busy. Checklists to cross off. None of that. We've got tons going on every day but it's not the same kind of busy.

Today we visited Horizon's Area Coordinators, Andris & Nelly. They have a beautiful center as their offices that also serves as storage and a place for skills training. They even have adorable dogs.

  

  

The new partially built Horizon building is being torn down because of the original contractor's superintendent not planning for soil conditions. Although this is not the best outcome so far, we're happy they realized this before it was finished but laborers without hardhats or fancy machines climbed up poles to saw the welded beams apart to take them down. A new foundation will start as soon as they're finished. The building is set on a fenced in 3 acres on a total of 6 acres of land given by the Rain Queen to Horizon for the children's drop-in center.

The current drop-in center that feeds the orphan children in the Modjadjiskloof area has bulls roaming around. The American mothers in our team couldn't imagine sending their children to a place to play where bulls walked freely.

The children were thrilled to see us and were easily entertained - even by Kelly's Peek-a-boo game. They mimic quickly and, since they have no toys, are happy to be entertained. All of the little ones brought tupperware bowls to get a solid meal. Many of our team members got a chance to meet with their sponsored children and give them little gifts.

  

After a bit, a few of us headed off to do home visits. First, we got to surprise a 26-year-old girl, Constance, with her first wheelchair. She's had cerebral palsy and spent a lot of her life laying on a blanket outdoors with a pillow beneath her head. She now spends most of her days on a couch watching cartoons. This wheelchair will allow her grandmother to take her outside easily. The smile she had on her face couldn't get any bigger. She is one of the happiest ladies I've ever seen.

   

After Constance, we met an old woman who needed prayer. We found her sitting on a chair outside of her home. Each of us greeted her reverently. She was happy to have us pray over her and the rest of her days. Between her stoic face and her soft, worn hands, it was definitely the moment of the day that stood out the most. The stories written on her face - I wanted to just sit and listen. We found out that most of the women in these tribes live very long lives while most moen have a short lifespan. Some women are up to 110 years old. As we left, we turned to see her watching TV through her doorway from the outside in her little chair.

  

The next little girl was a 9-year-old with cerebral palsy who was trapped at the size of a 2-year-old. Her little legs and tiny feet showed just how little movement she made. Her grandmother held her as we prayed over her and her family. Sandy S. started massaging her earlobes and temples, which caused her to go from screaming to bliss instantaneously. Just our presence was a blessing on them. 

  

There are children everywhere. Running around without parents or caretakers. Talking to strangers. Mimicking me as a show them how to stick their tongue out for the camera and then being chased by Michael who loved playing around with all of them. These little guys seemed to take care of each other... orphans with parents or not.

  

Tomorrow, we head to see a tree that is 1,700 years old - the Baobab Tree. With everything we've done the last few weeks, we're ready for a little down time.

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