Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Liberia Journal - Day Seven

March 12, 2009
This has been one of the hardest days of my life.

Today was our last day at Daniel Hoover (the orphanage). We worked on the remaining medicals all morning. It was an extremly hectic day as we all felt the pressure to get finished with what we set out to accomplish while here.

The men finished up the building projects and worked tirelessly to leave the orphanage with no loose ends.

Within about 10 minutes of our arrival, little Prince showed up. His little dimpled smile just melts my heart. Throughout the rest of the day he was never far away. I would see him peeking in through the open doors, looking for either Donn or I while we were working.

We had a brief time with the older girls and we sang together. Their favorite song is "Who Am I" by Casting Crowns....I don't think I will ever make it through that song again without crying.

The girls gave us many letters - simply asking us to remember them. We all prayed together and then we said our goodbyes. Many tears were shed.

As the day drew to a close it became harder and harder emotionally.

I went and found little T-girl in her dorm and Prince, Donn, T-girl and I walked around campus holding the two little ones who had stolen our hearts.

As I walked I prayed for the Lord to make the moments last.
"Just a little longer Lord...just a little longer."

As word began spreading that we were about to leave, I looked at Prince and saw his face get very serious and his eyes tear up.

I leaned over and told him that I loved him and that we were praying for him. I told him not to be scared to talk loud because people want to hear what he has to say. I kissed him and held him as he and I cried.

We said goodbye to T-girl who was uncharacteristically clingy and serious also. I told her that we loved her and would be praying always for her. She looked at me one last time and then scampered off.

Donn and I got in the taxi and shut the doors. We looked over at the sea of kids surrounding the car...at least 50 kids were just peering through the windows waving (some with tears in their eyes).
Peace stood there crying...Winnie-girl began to cry and walked back to her room.

And then I saw him.

Little Prince...pushing his way through the mass of kids. He walked right up to the car window and just stood there sobbing. There were too many tears to hold it together. Donn flung open the car door and swooped up our little boy...our little Prince.

I don't know what Donn said to Prince during that moment...I imagine they were the words that only a father can say to his son. I sat in the car and sobbed into my hands.

Oh dear little Prince; if only you could know how much we sobbed as our car drove away today. If only you had any idea how loved you are and how much we long to be with you.

If only you knew...

Thank you Lord for good friends. Thank you for the Liberian family you have given to us.

We ended the night with an amazing church service in which the older kids from the orphanage surprised us to sing some songs. Donn and I were blessed to have one more night to spend with Peace and Winnie-girl.

As the kids walked in from the back of the church I just kept praying that I'd see Prince's little face come smiling in, even though I knew he was too young to be out so late.

The goodbyes were incredibly hard again. One friend in particular, Elijah, was very hard to say goodbye to. Elijah had become a true brother to Donn and I over the past week. Elijah is the Dean of Students at the orphanage and he loves the Lord and those kids deeply. We had spent every moment together as he worked on medicals with us and saying goodbye to him left a very big sadness in our hearts. Lord, be with our brother.

After the church service we finally went back to the guest house and Donn and I immediately went out back to share our last evening with our dear friends. We sang praises under the stars until the early hours of the morning with Friday, Lorpa, Jordan and Opelo.

Thank you Lord for the people you've put in our lives. You have blown our minds with all you've done in one short week!

Our little Prince
Our Dear Brother, Elijah


Julie! said...

This week in your lifetime will last forever in your heart. It has left its impression on you in ways maybe you don't know of yet. It is literally less than the blink of an eye for God. But...He ordained it for an eternal purpose. Your time there will continue to draw out results as ripples in the water after a stone hits it. And God will use each event to change the lives of many, all because of a long overdue honeymoon. "Weeping may endure for the night, but joy cometh in the morning." Wipe your tears! Do what you are called to do, and watch and wait and see what joy will come your way as God does great and amazing things out of the labor of your hearts!!!

four kids for us said...

Well I'm a mess,truly touched and in awe with how the Lord used you and Donn in Liberia. I am so excited to see what comes from this adventure and if I get a chance to travel with David I want to go serve just as you two have done. I can't think of a better experience a couple could share. I bet your relationship is on a whole new level with one another and Christ. Way to go faithful servant! I am praying for Prince and your furture together!