This is my second blog for today. I was half done with it and somehow lost it. Oy vey! I would skip it and try again in the morning, but tonight I’m sick and likely to be awake for a while, so I figured I’d try this again.
We had breakfast at Mike’s Restaurant this morning. We ate there yesterday too and watched children paddles canoes and kayaks across the river so they could attend school here in Pokhara. At home we rightfully fuss when are children have to walk too far to school. These parents put their uniform clad littles into boats and send them across the lake. I’m just saying … I didn’t see a single life vest.
Today’s entertainment at breakfast was the crows. One picked up a rat (dead we think) and was flying away with it when a second crow harassed it, so crow #1 dropped it only a foot or two away from those who were eating by the lake where we sat yesterday. They’re lucky it didn’t end up on their plate! Another crow picked up a metal condiments dish and flew away with it. Apparently the crows were planning a feast for today!
Before heading to our first children’s home, we stopped at a shop that our new friend Sally took us to. I’m eager to tell you about the man in this shop, but I’m going to wait until we get home, so I can take a picture of what we bought there and share it with you along with the story.
We made our way to Bethany Home next. There are such wonderful little loves in each of these homes, yet we’ve discovered that just in American families, each home has it’s only personality and feel. It’s too bad these mommas don’t have more time on their hands and don’t speak much English, or they should totally be writing blogs and books telling us how to be organized. Holy Cow! (And I’m not talking about the “holy cows” walking all over freely around here because they might be someone’s grandparent.) Can you imagine having 12-14 children? (Okay a couple of my homeschooling friends can. I’m not talking to you superhumans.) These families didn’t always have much warning that we were coming, yet their homes were immaculate.
When 1 Corinthians 14:40 says, “Let all things be done decently and in order,” this might be what was in mind.
I had an opportunity to interview the parents of this home. I’m saving their stories for the book, but oh, what a blessing to hear how God intercepted their lives for His purposes. They are changing the trajectory of these children’s lives, and they would be the first to say it’s only by the grace of God. I asked about how they spiritually train their children. Let me just say that I was put.to.shame. They do devotions with all of the children every morning and every night.
The children sang and danced for us. They are amazing! This family has a talent show every Saturday night and you could tell! Precious!
We played a couple of games with them using the supplies that so many of you generously purchased and Kadi and I hauled over here. The kids have really enjoyed all of these goodies. I’ll try to show you pictures of how all of your gifts were used in another post.
After we left Bethany House, we went to Asha’s house. This is a brand new home that opened … catch this … today! This home will be for children who have special needs and have been abused or at risk of being abused, abandoned, trafficked, or on the street. It will only have 5-7 children when at capacity. For now, there is 1 girl. She arrived after we were there and I haven’t heard how that went, but we had an opportunity to pray with her new parents and I believe they appreciated that.
We ran back to our hotel to pick up games and craft supplies for Grace House. It had rained off and on throughout the day, but while we were at the hotel, the skies literally opened up and poured. It lasted quite a good while and we weren’t sure how we would fare getting to Grace House because one of the roads was “under construction” … translation: impassable! We made if further with the van than I thought we might and the walk wasn’t nearly as muddy as we expected it to be given the rain we’d just had.
We sort of saw the children at Grace House then – and I’m SO glad we did! You and I take electricity for granted! I’m not kidding. Here in Pokhara in the hotel, our power goes out at 3-5 a.m. and doesn’t come on again until late in the afternoon. In other words, we only have it in the evening. Hense all the ugly hair pictures of me while we’ve been here. But really, in light of all that we are seeing here … who cares about hair? Back to my point … there was no electricity while we were at Grace House and with the skies overcast and another rain shower moving in, it was quite dark! My brilliant photographer, Kadi Tiede (aka Daughter Extraordinaire), managed to get a couple of pictures nonetheless.
We used the flashlights on our smart phones to shed enough light on the tables in the family’s kitchen, so the kids could string bracelets with pony beads. (Thank you, God, for technology!) Then we blew up red balloons for all the kids and had a WILD time with 14 children, 14 balloons, 10 adults, and lots of squealing in a room that was MAYBE 20′ x 20′ and that may be generous. I love that balloons break every language barrier.
At 6:30 these bideshi’s (non-Nepali/white people) headed to our favorite restaurant in Pokhara, Bluemoon, AND that’s where my night was cut short. I became terribly sick within 30 minutes of our arrival. John (President of Tiny Hands) gave me a ride back to the hotel quickly on his motorcycle. I was so grateful! Friends and family are praying and I’ve medicated myself. God is good and He can use even this.
Here’s the deal my friends … I look into the faces of these beautiful children who have been given the gift of a life filled with love, a second chance to be a child when life circumstances demanded that they grow up far too quickly, and the hope of a glorious future, and I am undone by the knowledge that there are thousands more here in Nepal who are still suffering beyond what I can imagine. I love Tiny Hands International and their core values: to be the kingdom, take care of the least of these who need it most, and to do much with little. I have but one life to live. How can I know what I now know and not lay it all down and say, Lord, I’m all in. Use me. Teach me. Keep my eyes wide open. Never let me forget. Allow me to be Your voice and their voice.
The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name.
When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue and honor them.
I will reward them with a long life
and give them my salvation.”