Long Day

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For each of three work days that we have here, there will be one team that goes directly to the main orphanage, and a smaller team of about 8 people that will first go and deliver food to other orphanages, and then finish the day with the main team. Today, Domino and I were on the team that did the food run.

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There were four orphanages that we stopped at today to deliver food. At each one, we delivered the same things – beans, rice, powdered milk, sugar, and cornmeal. We also dropped off some day-old food that we received from one of the local supermarkets to give out.

The first location that we stopped at reminded me of a daycare. The place was pretty nice. some of the kids were in a class, while other kids were playing in the play area. The kids playing looked to be around 6-9 years old, and seemed like they were having a great time. While it wasn’t a  lot of room, there were two or three kids who rode bikes around. And there were some swing sets to play on, too.

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I thought about how I drop my girls off at daycare, and the fun that they have while there. But this isn’t the same. These kids live here year round. They don’t get to go home at the end of the day to be with their family; they have no family to go home to.

Domino seemed to really enjoy spending time with one of the kids who just recently learned to walk. She held him and carried him around. Every time she went to put him down, he reached up for her. Even handing him off, the boy wanted to go back to Domino.


After Domino was able to break away from the little boy, she found herself doing a monkey-see-monkey-do game against several boys on the monkey bars. One boy would go across the bars one way, and then Domino would repeat. Then Domino would go across them another way, and the boys would repeat.


One of the boys grabbed our friend George and showed him his collection of matchbox cars. George got down on the ground and played with them.


George’s daughter, Lauren, got the kids to compete in some relay races, which was a bit tough considering the amount of room we had to work with. Later, she laid down on the ground and played dead, and a bunch of the boys made ambulance sounds and came to help her.

I had my camera with me, and I let a couple of the boys take pictures of things. They really enjoyed seeing the pictures they took on the camera’s display.

Domino took out her rainbow loom stuff, and several of the boys came over. Domino showed them how to put the bands on the loom. It looked like one of the boys may have known what to do without using a loom. Domino had some finished bracelets and handed them out to the boys who were with her. She then took some of the bands that she had and gave them to the boys to use and share with others. It was neat to see Domino try to communicate. She didn’t speak at all, but rather tried to use her hands to get her point across. For example, she would point at the bands, and then point to each of the kids to show that they were meant to be shared.


Our friend Nivea spent most of her time holding on to one of the infants. I think the baby was only three months old? She had a very hard time letting the baby go, and joked about taking the baby home with her.


We left when the kids who were playing were instructed to come in for snack time. They were all very well behaved, had smiles on their faces, and very appreciative of the time that we spent with them.


At another location, there were only very little kids there, many not able to walk yet. There was a set of twins, too. The ladies in our team really enjoyed holding on to each of them and spending time with them. The guys, well, we mostly hung out and watched the ladies take over.

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At two of the locations, the kids that stay there were all in school, so we didn’t get to see any of them. But one of those locations, we did at least get to tour the facility to learn about the kids who stay there. As you would expect, the kids come from various backgrounds, including products of rape, parents on drugs, and other horrible things.

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After the four food drop offs, we took a quick stop at a coffee shop much like Starbucks. I ordered some frappe with chocolate and peanuts. It was delicious. We ate our packed lunches (sandwiches, carrot sticks, cheese-itz, that kind of stuff), and headed back to the main orphanage that the rest of the team was working at.

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When we got there, they were broken into two teams – one smaller team was replacing a tin roof. They needed to cut pieces and screw them in. They were going that in the hot sun all day. The other team was working on painting the outside of one of the many buildings at this location. I was really impressed at how quickly the kids who were with the food distribution team grabbed a roller and started painting.

Oh, I guess I should explain that this location was a very big compound with many buildings. I’m not sure how many kids are there yet. I’ll find out more about the place today, since that’s where we will spend our other two work days working.

We completed painting the outside of one of the buildings, and started working on the next one. Every once in a while, the orphans came out – maybe during recess time or something, and the kids in our group were able to play soccer with them or whatever other games.

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At the end of the day, the orphanage gave us ice cream bars to enjoy after our hard work. That was nice of them!

We headed back to My Father’s House exhausted after a long day of work.

But my work wasn’t done yet. As an added bonus, a small team of about 7 of us were invited to join another ministry team go do into the inner city and spend time with people on the streets. So, instead of having dinner, a team of us packed some food for dinner (the same as what we had for lunch), and after 15 minutes of returning, we were back on the bus.

We picked up about 40 other people at another orphanage. Apparently, that team got to stay on location with the orphans instead of having to commute.

We drove to the inner city, and waited for another smaller team, who was leading a ministry to help the homeless. While waiting in the bus, we not only saw homeless people on the side of the streets, but we even saw two guys squat next to some cement fixture to defecate. They squatted next to each other, and even shared a roll of toilet paper.

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Eventually, the other team showed up, and we all got out of the bus to join him. A small group of homeless people gathered, and sat on the curb, while the main leader preached. When he was done preaching, we all handed out bread, a hot beverage, and a hot soup to each person. Some of the people were drunks. One of the guys was from LA. He had an LA tattoo behind his ear. Pastor Chris went and spoke to him. He spoke very good English. Apparently, he was in LA, but got kicked out of the country for doing something. I’m not sure what it was.

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We eventually got back in the bus and headed to another location. This other place had many more people – lots of kids. The same thing happened here. The man preached, and we handed out food. After we were done, the man preached to the volunteers, who said that we have all been touched in our hearts and that we will remember this for years to come.

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We eventually, wrapped up, and headed back to where we were staying. Exhausted. I tried to write this journal entry when I got back, but I was too tired to finish, so I had to finish in the morning.

I need to quickly shower, make my lunch, and get breakfast so I don’t miss the bus this morning.

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