I haven't blogged since Thursday...
I'm blaming it on the fact that I had a super eventful weekend filled with lots of time with friends. I love how free my summer schedule allows me to be. It's going to be tough going back to school and realizing I can't say "yes" to every social invite. :-)
One of the highlights of my weekend is the inspiration for my Tried it Tuesday post. I apologize in advance for it not being educational. I know I am a slacker when it comes to creating freebies etc., but I promise one is on the way soon. Also, I finally started making things for next year, so I hope to make it to Monday Made-It next week.
Also, some will be shared on this week's Tricks of the Trade about...
Get ready to share what you do to motivate your kiddos. Link up this Thursday!!
Anyway, enough about that. On to Tried it Tuesday with Fourth Grade Flipper.
Anyway, enough about that. On to Tried it Tuesday with Fourth Grade Flipper.
Volunteering for K-Love
On Friday I got a call from my best friend who works for K-Love radio station saying that she was in need of a volunteer on Saturday. Though it was short notice, I was totally free and happy to be able to help her out. The event was a low-key sale at a Christian book store near us, but it was still enjoyable. I passed out stickers, encouraged people to spin the prize wheel, and then gave out prizes.
Do any of you shop at Trader Joes?
I have actually never gone, but really want to. It seems like every time I try a new food/product and like it, I find out it's from Trader Joes.
That's what happened when I tried Kind bars for the first time this weekend.
Apparently, Kind bars are supposed to be one of the healthiest snacks ever because they are made with nutrient- and energy-packed ingredients like nuts and fruit. My friend gave me two to try: Blueberry Pecan and Cranberry Almond. Both were really good and filling. If/when I actually go to Trader Joes, I will have to pick some more up.
The last thing I tried recently was a...
Rock Star Costume
Last Tuesday was Rock Star Day at the summer camp I work at. Anyone who knows me well, knows that I go all out when it comes to dressing up. I always say the reason I work with kids is because I still want to be one myself. What better way to let my inner child come out than to dress up in costume?
Though I had never been a Rock Star before, I managed to put together a bunch of different pieces I already had, plus three borrowed items to make a pretty legit costume. My friend did my finger nails and I did hardcore makeup. Also, I printed out and laminated a mini electric guitar. I was pretty happy with the result.
It was super funny to see the kid's reactions to my pink hair and crazy outfit. Also, one of my fellow counselors cracked me up when she declared, "This is the real Becky. Teacher by day. Rocker by night!" Hehe.
After that insanely random Tried it Tuesday, it's time for...
Left My Heart in Hyderabad
After eating breakfast, we all gathered for devos. We talked about how real love is often messy and gross. Although that sounds unpleasant and maybe a bit dramatic, it’s so true. Think about it. Moms and Dads deal with vomit, blood, spit, and all other kinds of bodily fluids when caring for their kids. Unfortunately, teachers also have to deal with many of the same gross things. Though we may not always like the gross parts of love, we can remember that Jesus was our example. He touched lepers of all people! They were considered unclean and untouchable by everyone else in society. People must have thought Jesus was crazy. If so, they got it wrong. He was not crazy, but His love was
As soon as we boarded the bus, a wave of excitement washed over me. I couldn’t wait to see the adorable kids again. On the drive to the children’s home, a cow decided to jaywalk right in front of the bus. The driver had to swerve to avoid hitting it. We all cracked up! It was a “We really are in India moment” for sure.
As soon as the bus pulled up to the home, the children began peeking out to wave at us. Praveem’s smile lit up my entire day today and will continue to do so. I seriously think it could be an anti-depressant for the world.
Once we took off our shoes and laid them by the door, we let the kids go wild with the balls, jump ropes, crayons, and coloring books we brought. For a while, most of us just watched them play, but then people got involved playing a heated soccer game, blowing bubbles etc.. Inside the church, I watched Divya, Raju, and Praveem color page after page of Bible story coloring sheets. Another boy, Devakar, refused to let go of the one red soccer ball. When he was not dribbling it with his left hand, he was holding tight to it as he colored. When we broke out the stickers, the kids went wild putting them all over themselves. This resulted in Vyshnavi being covered from arm to arm and all over her face with stars. When I peeled the border part off the sticker sheet, Praveem put it on his face. I died laughing. When Raju did the same thing with another sheet, I was overwhelmed by cuteness.
After a 2:00 p.m. lunch, we sang a few songs and then came the intense story time. All of the kids, adults, and Americans, sat in a circle. One-by-one and two-by-two the kids shared how they became orphans. I was knocked flat by their stories.
Ashwitha (12) and Tejashwini (10)- Their parents are alive, but unable to care for them. Their mother visits them occasionally, but their father has disappeared. They came to the home a few years ago.
Monisha (10) and Vyshnavi (6)- They came from a village 20km away. Their father died of HIV and their mother is alive, but HIV positive. They came to the home when Monisha was 5 and Vyshnavi was almost 2.
Shiva (14)- He was born to a poor family somewhere 150km away. Both his parents died of cancer when Shiva was only 3. He and his older sister stayed with an uncle for a while. They still visit their uncle over holidays, but Shiva calls Bethel his home. He is happy to live there and to be able to study hard.
Raju (8) and Devakar (5)- They were born to a Hindu family. Their father died of cancer and their mother blamed God for allowing this to happen. She lives somewhere else and has a small business, but cannot care for the boys. Raju and Devakar came to Bethel 2 years ago. When Raju came, he had a heart problem and could not eat, but now he is much healthier.
Nagaraju (13) and Naveem (11)- Their mother worked in a vegetable market. The boys and father stayed at home while she worked. Neither boy ever went to school because no one cared for them or made them go. Their father drank and then beat their mother. Eventually, their mother took poison and died. One of their aunts brought them to Bethel 6 years ago. Now they study hard and know God.
We also heard Divya and Praveem's story. You can read it here.
As the children shared, my heart broke for them. The pain they felt showed in the tears they cried and in the way they could not speak more than a few words at a time. I was so upset to see them upset. Smiles turned to tears that brought us all to tears.
As sad as their stories were, they all had hope. God has brought them to a blessed place of love. I am beyond thankful for that. All of my emotions were expressed beautifully by BJ as she danced to “Always Faithful.” Looking around at the mix of somber faces and toothless grins, I praised the Lord for always being faithful. He sees and loves each child and provided each one with a home and the hope of eternal life. What’s more, He is willing and able to do this for every man, woman, boy, and girl on earth. He sent His Son to make a way for all of us orphans to be brought into His beautiful kingdom. Praise the Lord!
When we got to pray over the kids both individually and corporately, I was filled with a sense of God’s power. I prayed over Raju, Praveem, Naveem, Nagaraju, Divya, and Ashwitha. Then, the pastor’s wife asked me to pray that Anita, a neighbor woman, would have a child. I was so touched. I did not know what to say exactly, but I know that God heard my plea and the pleas of all those praying for her. After I prayed, Vijay called me Hannah because of my prayers. That blessed me a lot. It’s amazing how powerful prayer is even across language barriers. Though we don’t understand each other’s words, our spirits are in agreement. How awesome is that?