Sunday, August 16, 2009

Too Many

Yesterday was a day for too many goodbyes for sure…9 to be exact. The most deeply felt personally was my family. Though I greatly enjoyed the extended time we got to spend together here, it could never be too long. I think my mom and Joanna spent 90 percent of their time in their newly-created sewing room. Not only did they expertly tackle an unending mountain of mending, but also found time to teach at least 20 of the kids a combination of how to make clothes, knit, and crochet (I now know the difference is the number of needles used, but now forget which is which, ha). Although mostly girls, more than a few boys took great interest in learning and are becoming quite good at it. Pictured above is the compilation of garments made by the kids here in the last month. Overall there were 10 dresses, 5 skirts, 5 girls’ tops, 2 boys’ top/pant set, 1 dress suit, 5 hoodies, and many hats (to the best of my calculations). I knew my mom was tired one day when she referred to me as “mom,” but she kept at it until the job was done, enjoying every minute of it. With all the patterns remaining behind and the sewing room now in functional order, they hope that some will be able to continue sewing on their own.
Wherever Sam was these past 2 months, there was also always laughter and fun being had. One of the older girls told me several times that if she had a brother like Sam, she “could just never be bored.” During the school day Sam mixed his time between keeping the little ones occupied and doing odd jobs around the compound. These odd jobs included everything from folding closets full of clothes, organizing crafts, and sorting shoes, to changing light bulbs, holding ladders, digging a fish pond, and grading tests to even chopping firewood deep in the bush. But most importantly, he loved these kids with his whole heart and spent quality time with every one of them, just being their friend, which is exactly what they need.
Jamie was a returning volunteer who stayed for the summer. There are several girls who have become expert singers thanks to her many voice lessons and all the oldest kids now have a beginning education in music theory. Jamie was always willing to help wherever it was needed and did so with a smile on her face.
A mixture of sad-goodbye and hello-to-new-beginnings is that one of our young girls was finally reunited with her mother and left yesterday to go and live with her permanently. As I helped her prepare her things to leave, I was nearly in tears as I listened to the other girls sharing in her excitement to be reunited with her mother even though they themselves were very sad to see their sister leave. One in particular was telling her how she hoped she would get to go to church and a Christian school and that she would grow up to be a missionary.
Although it was hard for all the kids to say goodbye to their sister, it was even harder for them to say goodbye to their Mama Rebecca and Papa Gary; for some the only “parents” they’ve ever known. Earlier this year the Mink family felt God’s calling to move on from full-time mission work to now do part-time mission work from the states. Rebecca still plans to raise support and return a few times a year to help facilitate the starting of several new, smaller children’s homes throughout the Caprivi (one of which I will be blogging about soon), but must do so only part time so as to receive more proper care for her physical health. They have been serving the Lord on the mission field for 17 -years now, 7 of which here in Namibia establishing and running COZV, and I pray they will be richly blessed for it.
So overall 9 people left yesterday, which leads me to a huge prayer request. This is and will continue to be a huge transition both for the kids and those working here. Please be praying for the kids as they are missing their surrogate parents very much. We currently have Dave, a short-term guy who also came to help out during the flood, here taking care of finances and overall management until another couple can arrive in September for the next 6 months. We know that God has a couple (or 2) in mind to continue with the ministry here, so please be praying that God will be laying it on their hearts quickly to be able to serve here full-time in the Minks’ stead. Please also be praying for Dave, Jessica, myself, and the rest of the staff that God would guide us in how to make this transition as smooth as possible for the kids as well as some extra energy to do so :-)

1 comment:

  1. I knew the Minks were leaving but I didn't realize all those other important people in your life would be leaving at the same time. I feel a little bit empty just thinking about it and I imagine you are, too. I guess it is lucky that there is never a dull moment at COZV, and that there are others there and on the way to help fill the void - physically, emotionally and spiritually.

    I hope to get back there sooner rather than later for a short visit. I pray that dream becomes a reality as it will be good to see you and the children again.