UPDATE: village visits are impacted due to COVID19. Sometimes they are possible and sometimes villages are locked down as China chases a zero cases.
All our planned trips to visit kids are bathed in prayer, for the kids, their families, our wisdom and safe travels. This year is so different. Normally schools finish and re-start on the same dates round the province, in the cities and the villages. But because of schools starting back after lockdown on different dates their finishing dates for semester are different.
As we begin visiting kids again middle schools are still teaching classes so we just keep connected with those kids by phone and electronic means. But we began planning our first trips to one area but then we saw that very bad weather, heavy rains especially, was being forecast. This made us quite worried but as we considered it and prayed more we decided to go ahead. We had already contacted the families to tell them we were coming so we could hardly change our minds now.
While driving to the area the kids live in the rain was very heavy, even torrential. But we were able to visit about 5 kids and finished around 9pm. It had been a long day and it was nice to get to our hotel.
On our second day we’re going to visit primary school village kids. When we arrive and they see us getting out of the van they start calling out to us. “Uncle, Uncle” they shout and come running to us.
The children started asking us lots of questions and we also wanted to hear how life had been for them during this very difficult time. A local teacher came with us today. It felt a little funny because the kids didn’t really talk with him at all, just with us. Even the families reacted the same way.
Maybe kids are the same wherever they live. These kids only put their masks on while at school or when going to the shops. At other times they forgot or didn’t want to. All the kids knew about the virus but didn’t really say much about it. Maybe they didn’t understand. The little kids didn’t look very concerned but the big kids showed some deeper feelings and were a bit worried and even afraid.
Some children in school have been able to write about their feelings this year. How life has been with the virus around them. This seems to have been helpful for some.
Sadly, some children have lost their homes because the government wanted villages to be rebuilt. Families had to leave their homes and were moved to apartments far away from their village homes. Not only have they lost their homes but also their small plot of farming land. Children are not living near their friends now, like they were before.
This has made the kids really sad and brought many tears and unhappiness as they saw their homes torn down and destroyed.
But we are really thankful that our kids are safe and well. They can continue to go to school.
When we arrived near their village, even though it was raining really heavily, they all came out to meet us. They brought spare umbrellas or shared their own with us. The road isn’t easy to drive or walk along because it is up in the mountains.
Most of the kid’s parents wanted to cook meals for us so we could sit and talk for longer. They really welcomed us and we felt overwhelmed. We feel like these kids are our little brothers and sisters, but they call us Uncle. Maybe we are getting old but we really felt that as much as we were there to visit them, to see how their lives were going and to encourage them we were actually on the receiving end.
One sponsored girl was having her birthday so without them knowing we prepared a little surprise. She and her dad seemed overwhelmed too.
We took many walnuts back to the city with us to share with the ayi’s in Doves Wings. They really like walnuts.
Helping kids re-write life stories and turn around futures
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