Now that the scare of riots from the Togo elections have basically come and gone, Mercy Ministries have started up again! So this morning, I got to go to an orphanage about an hour away.
Unlike the orphanage I visited in Benin, this orphanage consisted of a wide range of age groups…from 2 years old to widows in their 40’s. When we arrived, we were immediately greeted by the widows sitting outside making purses. And inside, we were greeted by all the kids who seemed to be working on homework (apparently they are taught a variety of subjects there as well).
Once we got everyone situated on benches around the room, we explained what Mercy Ships was & then got to sing praise songs and dance around the room with all of them! It’s surprising how much more relaxed everyone felt after we danced with each other. Of course, I probably looked goofy attempting to move my hips and clapping off beat…maybe that’s why they were all smiling at me. Either way, it opened up an opportunity to be friends with them all & show that we was just like them.
The lady who organized it did a short Bible lesson where all the kids acted it out. Then we had some question and answer time, and some of them really talked about some deep fears of theirs because we were relating to the disciples in the boat being scared of the storm when Jesus was sleeping. Anyways, after the lesson and making boats out of paper to remind them of the lesson, we played games! Lots of games gave all the children and women an opportunity to pick which one they wanted to enjoy. I started off swinging the jump rope, but a girl soon took over my jump rope swinging job, so then I spent the next 30 minutes playing a game similar to volleyball. It was so much fun!
Once I got pulled out of our little game (which several people had joined by this point), I went inside and painted nails with my friend Lindsey. One thing I found curious, and I’m sure you will too, is that they only paint their left hands. In fact, Lindsey painted her right hand and they made her take it off! We aren’t exactly sure why this is, but we want to find out. We think it has something to do with the fact that most of the work is done with the right hand?
Anyways, after all this fun and excitement, we had to head home. So we said “Good bye” and “See you later” and headed back to the ship with our load of goodies which they will continue to bring back.
That, is a great ministry.
Some extra info on the ministry: Apparently none of the kids actually stay in the orphanage (called “Route to the Lord” in English) over night. They all have some one taking care of them at the moment. But once the building is completely finished being built, most of them will be able to live & go to school there. It’s sad to think that the people taking care of them at the moment don’t actually want them…And yet you would never be able to tell because every single person (child or woman) had giant smiles on their faces.