I just returned from attending the CornerStone Summit, which is a missions conference held every five years in Wilmore, KY. It was so wonderful to see missionary friends who I have known for over 10 years now and receive some updated missions training as well. My job as Director of Global/National Missions at Chapelwood UMC in Houston is going really well. I love the staff and congregation members that I get to work with each week.
I was fortunate to be able to go back to Zimbabwe for 3 weeks in April. The HOPE programs continue to run smoothly thanks to the efforts of the administrators at Fairfield Children's Home. I am so grateful to the many sponsors who have continued to support their individual children to receive an education and for those who give general donations that can go toward milk, nutritious food and medical care.
While I was visiting Zimbabwe, I had a chance to spend lots of time with Nyarai, Grace, and Abby, as well as many other special friends. It was such a blessing to be able to be together as a family again for those few days. The girls are thriving and so well-loved. Please continue in prayer for the children and staff at Fairfield Children’s Home, as well as the HOPE children.
And a little bonus from my journal...
April Snapshots: My first few hours back in Zimbabwe
There are certain days in my life I wish I could have a photographer following me around to capture every moment. While this does not fit within my current budget, I can sometimes remember to be present enough in the moment that an image is filed away in my memory that becomes far more permanent then anything I could ever place in a frame and hang on my wall.
I push my full luggage cart through the sliding glass door, my eyes roaming the crowds for my friend Evie who is picking me up from the airport. Instead, my eyes laser in on a little girl spinning into the aisle. She stops mid-spin and our eyes lock. Grace remains frozen in place as recognition hits us both. My focus shifts to Abby who is in the background. Her eyes pop open wide just before she breaks into the smile she is famous for with both sets of teeth showing. “Mai Two,” she mouths. “Mother of Two” is what I am called in Zimbabwe. They remember me.
We stay overnight in Harare because it is too late to drive home. The twins sleep peacefully together on a small mattress on the floor. They are curled up facing each other with their foreheads almost touching. Their bodies form a little heart shape under the blankets. I crouch down and breathe a prayer of blessing over them. They are perfect. They are what every mother hopes for her children. They are healthy, happy, safe, well-loved.
One of my dearest friends, Jane, is driving us toward home early the next morning. My head leans back in the seat heavy with jet lag. Abby tucks herself under my left arm and immediately falls asleep. As my eyes flutter and close, my last glimpse is of Grace finger painting in the fogged up glass of the car window quietly humming “Jesus Loves Me."
I tuck these snapshots away along with others I have stored from years past. They create a serenity that allows me to once again loosen my grip and let go a tiny bit more...