It has been so great having a team down with us for the past week, and we have done some incredible things. We built a new building for our security guard to sit to stay out of the elements, we went to church with the kids, we brought the kids new school shoes, and we did some work around our (Matt and Jessica’s) house that made it so much better. We have had a great time fellowshipping with friends and getting to know some new people better, and we have gotten to spend a lot of time with Jessica’s parents over the past week. The weather in January is incredible for a team to come, it’s not too hot and it helps us with sleeping at night and staying energized during the day. But we did something for the first time this year that was a lot of fun…We had a Christmas party with our kids!
We had such a great time celebrating with our children, and the children did a wonderful job planning the party (especially our older girls and more specifically Milouse). We had a lot of food (chicken, rice and beans, fried plantains, salad, cake, cokes, Tampicos, etc.), the kids planned a program which included a lot of singing and dancing, we rented a small generator and Lener borrowed a big speaker for the music, we passed out stockings provided by the Stanton High School Senior women group, and then we passed out the gifts that their sponsors provided. It was awesome. I don’t remember a time that the kids were more excited and when we’ve had more fun together. If you have children, think about the excitement surrounding Christmas and then multiply that by 34. They were so excited. They could each ask their sponsors for 1 thing and almost all of them asked for either a big suitcase, a digital camera (which they cannot get the photos printed from), a boom box, clothes, or a discman. It is funny because we know that they will only last a certain amount of time, and that the batteries will run out, but they love them so much! It was really fun watching them open and then having 10 boom boxes playing at the same time, some kids fitting all of their belongings into the suitcase they were given, or having a fashion show with some of the kids (especially Malayika) who got clothes.
There were some things we will do differently next year because we learn things all of the time. We will not start the party at 1:00 again because that means the kids started bathing at 1:00 and we had to cut the party a little short because of daylight. We will find a way to cover the fence so that the community surrounding the orphanage are not right there trying to come in or trying to interrupt the party. We will help plan the program so that every child has a chance to participate if they want. But these are small things. In reality, the party was better than we could have hoped for and it was so much fun.
Thank you for supporting All Things New and making this happen.
A special note for all of our sponsors out there, the kids LOVED their gifts. We know some of them seem like kind of strange things to ask for, and especially in a 3rd world country, but I can tell you that they loved them. They were happy, and they felt loved by you. They do anyway, and we are so thankful for the monthly support that you give us all of the time. We understand that you do not have to go above and beyond that, but we are so thankful that you did. I wish you could have been here to see their faces, it was awesome!