Thunder is in the distance. It's the rainy season, and storms can brew at any given moment. It's night and my mosquito net is tucked in the bed around me. The girls are asleep in their bunk beds, and Boog is off to the airport for a midnight arrival of a couple who will also become part of the 60 Feet team.
This is our life in Africa.
Every week, 60 Feet hums and churns like a well-oiled machine....with the occassional need for stops and repairs along the way. The mobile medical team departs each morning for visits to the remand centers, staff flies off in ten different directions as they meet with different organizations or government officials to build the much needed relationships that make working in an international setting more fluid and manageable. And each week, something comes up that requires everyone to sit back and remember that amidst all this "U.S. style nose to the grindstone" work, the children we serve are not commodities. They are not "projects". They are real people. Vulnerable. And desperate for someone to hear their story.
You could not dream up what those "somethings" are......lists handed down of 80+ children waiting to be resettled with their families, but languishing in prison until someone can provide the research, money, transportation, and people to make it happen. Horribly run orphanages, shut down by the government, and the children sent to the government's "drop off center", meaning 40+ new kids and mouths to feed (at an already maxed out center). Shortages of clothing in the prisons. A need for toothpaste/toothbrushes for 400 kids who have never owned a toothbrush of their own.....
The situations that arise seem to be endless. But as our team is learning, it's not just about responding to each crisis. It's about finding the wisdom to look beyond the problem in front of you and finding the root. To not just look at the kids on the list and find the quickest way to get them back to their families (although quick is good.) But to go to the family and return, and return again, to see why the child left or was sent away to begin with and start the counsel there.
Partnership is huge. Finding other organizations to work with so that each area of need, along the long chain of need, is served well. Just last week, my hubs and other staff members attended a town hall discussion at the U.S. Embassy to get a glimpse of what the vision is and where it's headed. And each week, there's a new meeting set up with an organization who may provide a link in the chain.
For the girls and I, we sit on the perimeter....with much of our time being spent volunteering at a babies' home, homeschooling, and working at Hope International School (where many of 60 Feet's sponsored children attend.) But we listen to the staff's daily struggles and small victories. We watch as our daddy puts on a tie and drives off to meet someone in the Ministry of Gender. We pray for each situation that arises. And we remember that God is the source of this love-offering of service.... "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." Matthew 6:34
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