Sunday, September 23, 2007

"My Children"

It is always with excitement and joy that I prepare to visit "my children". Yes the 21 orphans in Rwaza, have captured my heart. They have called me "mami" for awhile, everytime it cut through my heart when they would say the word. I tried to protect my heart and not get to attached to these children. I tried to ignore the mother in me screaming at me to release my heart to love them.

The words of my teachers go through my head; "you should never become too attached to those who need your counsil and help, it dilutes your professional observations and diagnosis". Studies have proven that children who received motherly love develop better in over all life and will have healthier families of their own. There are the statistics of those who have grown up under institutional care and the lack of motherly love, they scare me. And I realize that I cannot get attached enough to these children. They need my motherly love, I might be one of the only mother who can give it to them on a consistant basis. They need my heart to be open for them. They need me to teach them the things only a mother can teach. It hurts because I am fully aware of the sufferings these children endure. The lack of basic love, care and food. My heart aches, it would be so easy to remain detached, but I made the choice, my heart adopted 21 children.It was a special day today as we had received care-bears from ...... The children in the vacation bible school had made these bears with the my Rwaza children in mind. Little notes were placed in a pouch on the bear speaking of Jesus his love for the child and a small note from the child who had carefully made the bear. My kids could not comprehend that American children would care for them to make such bears! They clapped for joy and excitement when they realized they are known, they matter and other children pray for them!

Nani and Zoey gave all children a bear. Seeing their servant hearts without any jealousy or envy of the blessing they gave away blessed me all the more!
"I will sleep with my bear tonight 11 year old Emmanuel exclaimed. My note came from Alex, can you send him my photo, I love him so much, you must tell him thank you from me, 14 year old Gilbert was so sweet and excited to know that someone loves him!
Little Otis, 4 yrs old is always playing with a knife. He is such a tough boy, a fighter for sure, yet he embraced his bear and did not let go. You see, boys like him need mothers who love them, even if that means a knife in one hand and a bear in the other.
Though there was great joy, lunch made me wanna cry. Sweet potatos with may be 15 beans per child... A good filler, but no nutrition. The children were sure glad to see the sambosa's (big meat filled dumplings) and banana's. For dinner we had brought them more banana's and eggs.
Nani and Zoey are serving the children banana's.
My noughty daughters made a little fire with some of their friends. It cracks me up to see children are chidren all over the globe. They all do the same things and all have this noughty side to them!Ishimwe, this precious girl never smiled or laughed, today she did not stop laughing. She was so joyful!Julia and Sam, our friends from the U.K. came along for the day. I felt proud to show off my children to them. It was such a joyful day. Surprised we realized we'd better jump in the car and head back to Kigali to make it before dark. My children, that is who they are, they will be in my heart forver!

30 comments:

jeannette said...

mijn hart gaat al open als je die koppies ziet op een foto, hoe veel te meer als je echt bij ze bent!

The Simple Shepherdess said...

Hi Astrid, this might be a long comment...but I am not sorry for it:)

The first thing I want to say is that though it may be wisdom in many cases to keep a counsel relationship totally professional, I don't believe that's what you're dealing with in this case. What I see is deeper than the heart of a mother. What I see is the heart of Jesus, for he said, "Let the little children come to me." He did not turn them away, he did not protect his heart.

So I say, way to go, Astrid! Love, love, love those kids. They are the kingdom of heaven!

The other thing I wanted to say applies to your post. I went on a women's retreat this weekend. I was praying for you, Travis, Mama Deo, the Rwaza kids, and the widows. The thing was strong on my heart to pray for you, and Travis was:
Ephesians 3:16-19
16I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

You had mentioned in an e-mail that this has been a difficult time for you. I will continue to pray for strength from knowing Jesus. May the Word of God nourish your soul and enable you to continue.

Ephesians 3:20
20Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Paul Taylor said...

Thank you for this blog site. Erin Taylor (my daughter)directed me here. I was the Director for the VBS at our church when the bears were made. It will be so great to share with our congregation and especially our VBS kids the joy your children received because of our children's work. These pictures are tangible evidence of how children can minister even across the ocean. Thank you so much.

Sally Stuart - Windham, NH said...

Hello Astrid - Upon returning home from our time in Rwanda one of the first things I did was revisit your blog to see, once again, the beautiful children of Rwaza whom we came to care for so much in just one day. Our NH team will continue to lift you, your family, and the children of Rwaza before the Lord for His strengthening, healing and blessing. The Lord has given you the privilege of loving these kids, and He has a good plan for their futures. We look forward to seeing how we can play a small part in that as well.
Thank you for sharing your life, your heart and "your children" with us all.

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