This morning Eden and I went to YWAM. We had planned to go earlier in the week but we had had so many days that were full of meeting people, I wanted to space out the overwhelming days. It was so strange to be back at the base, where such pivotal moments of my life happened, with my daughter. This base is where God grew me up into so much of the woman I am now. It's where I met and got to know Robert. It's where I made some of the dearest friends and it's where I did some of my biggest wrestling with God about who He is and what that means. And it's where I really became a teacher.
Visiting the school was lovely, though most of the students there now we're too young to have known me when I was there. The head mistress, Christine, is an incredible woman with such a humble and generous spirit. She told me about the struggles that the school is having as well as the incredible ways God has provided. It kept occurring to me that these people worker harder, day in and day out, than I ever will. And it's not that they have longer hours necessarily but that it's all work done for survival. I've never had to work like that. Even when I lived here I had the secret knowledge that I could always leave and surrender if it got too hard. I had an out. And in my life now, we have to work hard for what we have, but it's still just not the same. I don't know how to put the heaviness I felt into words except that I was so aware of how undeserving I am of the life I have. I asked all the same questions that any honest person asks when they are faced with poverty or need or the reality of the status of most of the world. And the people I was with were not just most of the world, they were my friends, and family.
Eden with her uncle Methode, touring the YWAM base
After visiting and having hundreds of school children rush at Eden, we had lunch with the teachers, who presented me with more beautiful fabric. I know they have so little and I was again deeply touched. I loved re-connecting with one of my favorite colleagues, Jean Marie, who is still faithfully teaching with kindness and dedication.
Eden in the library that a team from my home church set up for the primary school. Because of having the access to these books, students from the school won an award for reading and were recognized above all the other local schools.
Eden standing at the sink where Robert and I first met
The afternoon was relaxing and all the nieces who were in town came over to hang out. Eden ran around with them joyfully while I visited with Isabelle, a dear friend. Afterwards, Usta piled all of us (Eden, me, Melody, Aroma, Sianna, Stacy, Samantha, Tona, and Darlene) into a car and we went out for delicious Indian food. It was loud and chaotic with all the girls together but I just loved it. I could not help feel a sense of loss that Eden won't grow up in this close knit little clan of girl cousins. I'm thankful that she has taken so quickly to them all. In fact, at dinner, we asked her for each cousin by name and she pointed each one out.
The girls, who have been singing BINGO to Eden on repeat while we've been here, made up a new rendition and sang it loudly on the way home.
There was a mother, had a girl and Eden was her name-o.
I'm so so glad we came