Every day is actually quite different at the orphanage. There are around 40 kids, and all go to school during the day except for 4. There is a 14 year old, Refiwe, who is not attending school. Every day I ask questions to figure out why she is home instead of at school, but I still have not learned the reason why. Refiwe does most of the house chores, and takes care of the three youngest. There is a 2 year old girl, Pinky, a 3 year old mentally challenged boy, Ebo, and a 6 month old baby boy named Mesi. Ebo is quite the challenge, and so some of my day is spent with him playing outside, and supervising he and Pinky as they play.
Refiwe is quite busy with chores and watching the children, and I do my best to help her with her daily tasks. For about an hour a day we sit down together and do homeschool activities. We read, do math, and I am helping her in English. She is a very smart girl, and I really don't understand why she is in school, but I am determined to help her stay at grade level while she stays home.
There are sick children who occasionally don't go to school. When the children stay home I work with them on math and English skills. I was shocked to find that one of the 5th grade boys cannot add or subtract with borrowing, and I feel as though when the kids stay home with me they learn more than if they would have gone to school. I struggle to not feel superior in my abilities to educate them, and I am doing my best to stay humble in this area.
Other daily tasks of mine include working in the kitchen! I chop cabbage & onion for a few hours a day, sometimes knead dough and wash the dishes after the preschool children finish eating. The cook is the director's sister, and works so hard all day long. My hope is that if I can make her job a little less tiring, than she will be a more effective caretaker to the children at the home.
The most rewarding part of the ministry we do here is a Bible study. We had the idea to meet with the older children and teach them how to study the Bible for themselves. The first day the director wanted to sit in on the study, and all of the kids were really into reading the Bible. After we finished they said they NEVER read the Bible and asked if we could come more evenings during the week to do the Bible study. Of course we agreed, as we know that it's the Word of God that will bring transformation to a community and to these kids' lives.
Working at God's Love Center is stretching me to work outside of my culture and my thinking, to slow down and know that just sitting and being with people is enough. I am a doer, and I like to be active, and the way the people work here is not like I've worked in the States, Honduras, Mexico, or any other place where I have lived. But I do thank God that I am here, and that I can serve the people as best I can, by loving them and paying attention to them.