Friday was our last day at school. We only stayed until 11:00 so we could make it to the end of Camp Life. My teacher wasn't there because he had to take exams. He is in school for 4 years to get a degree in special education.
After taking some group pictures, we had morning assembly. I love hearing their singing voices! The Grade 5 class even did a special dance for us. It was good but funny because it was tribal, so there was a lot of hip shaking going on that probably wouldn't have passed at my school in the US! :)
After assembly, I had a chance to do one more activity with each class. I read the book "You are Special", and we had a discussion about how God made each of them to be unique and special, how much he loves them, and how much they are treasured. They can never hear this too much! Often times, they hear things at home like, "You aren't worth anything" and "You can't stay in school or be what you want because you have to help the family."
After the story, I had them draw a picture and tell me why they are special, one thing they want to tell me about themselves, and one thing I can pray for them about. Many of them have a very hard time opening up. They don't talk about home much, and that's okay. They know school as a separate place, a safe place to be a kid!
Saying bye is always hard, but I know God has plans for them that are beyond what they can imagine. I looked them each in the eye to tell them that I loved them and would be praying for them.
Because our God is awesome, and plans things way ahead of our knowledge, Karen's husband Dan happened to be at Camp Life looking at children's eyes on Friday afternoon. He is an ophthalmologist in Palestine! Karen said he could look at Lameck if we could get him there. This required the field deputy to go to his house, find his caretaker, and get permission. It all worked out, so Lameck got to ride with us to the Tree of Life on Friday afternoon. Dan checked him out, and he said it was cataracts. If he can have surgery, he will be able to SEE again! Praise the Lord! The next step will be raising the funds and scheduling a surgery. I can only imagine the science when he is able to see again. To God be the glory!
Once we got to the Tree of Life, we went to the last session of Camp Life. There are hundreds of kids and adults packed into one room praising God with all they are. It's a sight to see! Greer and Teddy also take this time to pass out "blessings" to the kids, which included bracelets, candy, and a backpack. They were so excited!
After camp, we headed back to the hotel to let most people pack up, and we had our last session. We each shared our word of the week, how God showed himself, and our biggest takeaways from the week. It was a special time!
We went to the Legacy Center for dinner that night. After dinner, the Tree of Life kids performed. It was beautiful! We said goodbye to most of the girls. Kathlin and Karen were heading back. Lizzie and Amy were doing Victoria Falls with their girls. Allison, Tia, Diana, and I stayed an extra night. We went to dinner at Orange Tree with Kathryn and Alicia and Amanda. Tia had to go back to the room because she wasn't feeling well, but dinner was nice and we got to sit outside with a little fire heater by our feet.
The girls were exhausted from 4 weeks of camp, and it was finally break week for them! Amanda came back to the hotel with us for a sleepover. It was nice to have a little more time with her! She's one of my favorite people ever. The girls there work so hard, and living there is not easy. I know it is nice to see familiar faces and hang out away from it all. It was a fun night!
Saturday, July 2nd
We slept in Saturday morning and had a relaxing breakfast at the hotel. Tia was also feeling better which was an answered prayer! We lounged around and packed until around noon when we had to check out. After that, we went to a store called Nzito for a little shopping. I got a wooden heart to hang on the wall. We sadly had to take Amanda to the airport and say goodbye. She was meeting her mom in London for a few days.
After dropping her off, Alicia took us to the Tree of Life so Tia and Allison could see their kiddos one more time. I went with Allison to see Paulina at Heart House. We got to see the new clothes she had just gotten, and we taught a few of the girls to play games. We had some cards with us that had scrabble letters on them. We improvised and showed them how to play "spoons" but use some magnets from the fridge as the spoons. They LOVED it! I was honestly surprised at how fast they picked it up. Games are sometimes difficult for them to grasp if there is strategy involved, and but they laughed and laughed and laughed. They also had a memory game there that was unopened because they didn't know how to play. We taught them, and they were so great at it!
After a couple of hours there, we headed back to AmCom to pack up the car and eat. Alicia picked up Nando's Chicken for us. We ate with Kathryn and Alicia and then had to pack up for the airport. They drove us there, and we said more hard goodbyes. I admire them and their hearts for the Lord and these children so much. It's always hard to say bye!
Diana, Allison, and I flew through the night and landed safely in Dubai after an hour delay. Our plane was late, and they were very inefficient in getting us on. The Houston people were late, but luckily they held the next plane for them, and Tia made it!