Early starts are getting easier. Roosters don't seem as ridiculous as they did the first couple of nights. The wind seriously howls across the rooftop, where many of us are still sleeping. The four foot diameter windmill that spins at lots-o-revolutions per second about seven feet above our heads seems to be holding. We have considered the carnage potential if it were to eat itself as many of us are within the frag pattern. But, since your prayers have us covered, no worries! Now to more important matters. We met at 0700 for devotions. Pastor John led a short study of Colossians 3 and we prayed that God's Word and His Love would go out to those we met "along the road". John finished up Ezekiel thru chapter 24 and Jim took the baton which allowed John to survey the damage the rest of us did while unsupervised! The VBS team made it to the amphitheater in time to rehearse the parable of the day -- The Prodigal Son. We decided it would be good to lead the effort off with some worship music as the kids began streaming in around 45 minutes after our advertised start time. We reviewed the lessons and messages from Days 1 and 2 and introduced the scene for the day. The skit was a lot of fun, especially where the Gentile Employer (Jim) sent our prodigal (Joel) into the "pig sty" to work. What a picture of destitution. Luckily for us all, he was able to "come to his senses," repent, return, and have his relationship reestablished providing us all a valuable lesson of God's Love. We loaded up the truck and bounced our way to the orphanage. We almost lost Margie out the back but she's pretty wiley and hung on tight. Upon arrival, the kids came running out of the building to greet us. We retrieved the special needs kids (about 15) and set up for the Lost Sheep skit. Emily did a great job and JT made sure we had some maracas ready to go for all (40-50). As I was sitting on the steps during some singing, one of the little boys, about 3 or 4, poked and prodded my shirt pocket. I pulled out a clean tissue and handed it to him. He was fascinated, wrapped his maraca in it. Hmmm. Ilya set up some cones where he intended to run the Hope House version of a Sprint Cup race with wheel chairs. His adversaries (4 year olds) kept moving the cones but ultimately, Ilya prevailed and the one-on-one races commenced. The was a mixture of joy and maybe a hint of terror--depending on who was pushing/navigating the course. Really, the kids had a great time and although they could not communicate verbally, they could with their eyes and their smiles. It was good. Other orphanage events of interest: Kelly captivated and taught the kids how to love by picking up and cuddling a shy little puppy. The kids had been tormenting it but they really seemed to"get it" as Kelly modeled the love and care. Even Kosnoski was caught holding a Lille child. I think that child may have found a chink in his armor. We arrived back at the compound, had some dinner and went to the amphitheater where the Jesus movie was playing. I saw about 100 men, women, and children watching, even quoting the lines as they came up. Remember, this is an outdoor event running on fairly outdated technology. No complaints. Community. After the movie, several young teens asked if they "could help tomorrow" (with VBS). Oh yeah! You bet you can!
Loving the little ones.
Parachute games with the children at the orphanage.
Chaos (as can be seen in the blurry picture) when water was being handed out after VBS.