Happy Birthday to you! Today we celebrated all of the children’s birthdays! The day started off by having breakfast and leaving the house around 8:45 and planning on going to get a splint for a boy, Ishmael, who probably broke his arm. after an hour of just driving around, we finally found the clinic that had splints! So planning on leaving the house at 8:30 and arriving at Blessed Hope around 10 turned into leaving around 9:45 and arriving at the orphanage around 11:00. As we arrived there around 11, the children were waiting for us, and a few hopped out of the bus and played with the children while the other part of the team went to set up for the birthday party! About 30 minutes later, we headed down to the prayer garden where we sang songs, and danced! What Mike was saying was totally true and it brought me to tears when Simon Peter translated! After singing, we told the children to go to the “eating room.” Once all the children were seated and ready to listen, they looked around and were amazed by all the beautiful decorations that we had set up. We had told them what birthdays and celebrating were all about! The team sang Happy Birthday to them then passed out the bags full of some candy, a beanie baby, toothpaste, a tooth brush, and a mirror! They each got a pillow as well, which were made by churches back in America. The “champions” loved their candy, beanie babies, and especially their mirrors! Whenever I took one of the mirrors out for one of the kids to look at, they looked up at me and just smiled and laughed! And of course that made me smile! Then the school choir sang a few songs, and that’s when it got to me, and yes “happy” tears were involved. I cried as they were singing. I cried when they brought me pictures and letters. It just then hit me that we were leaving. But it wasn’t that I was only sad, I was very happy to see the joy and compassion in each one of the kids eyes! As the party came to an end, I had been given gifts, letters, and drawings from them. It was really sweet. We then headed down to the tent and had our last lunch there. The lunches there that they had prepared for us was fantastic, especially the pineapple and potatoes! As it was coming closer to say our goodbyes, we all(the kids, team, and teachers) all took a picture together! I then, actually keeping my tears in said goodbye to the ones that I was the closest to: Vivian, Norah, Robert, Barbara, and Emmanuel. The kids that I didn’t know as well came up to me, hugged me and said bye! It was hard, but I knew that I had to do it quick, and not cry! And was that successful?? Pretty much, yes! We blew our kisses and said: mwah and off we went down the dirt road. I was just thinking of what a true impact they all had made on my life! Helping Blessed Hope Champions Academy by providing them with beds, mattresses, sheets, and mosquito nets changed my life forever and all of them will be in my life forever! It was a good week!
~entry by Abigail Rodgers