I wondered if it would take them long to warm up to us. It didn't. Giggles began erupting when we played "Miss Mary Mack" and "Down by the banks of the hanky panky." We went from being strangers to being "aunties" and "uncles." We had another Lora on our team, so I told the girls to call me "Auntie Sunshine."
Over the week we held hands, played games, read, colored, sang and danced. The girls have devotions every evening and worship and pray for about an hour. One girl expertly beats a drum while another leads the songs, and the rest move their feet and hips to the music. As the songs go from loud and catchy to quiet and reverent, girls fall to their knees or to the floor. They close their eyes and cover their faces and pray aloud. I only understand one word - "Baba" (father).
Can you imagine? Can you believe that sixteen little girls (ages six to fourteen) who have been beaten and molested and told they are worth nothing... worshipping? I felt like any minute the amount of hope in that room was going to knock me to the floor.
You may think these girls don't have much to be grateful for, but oh, they do! They are now in a safe place. They have their own bed. They go to school. They do not go hungry. They are cared for and loved. They get to play. They get to be little girls.
|playing with gliders|
I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul. Psalm 31:7