5 Minutes of My Day: A Day at Mona’s 2/3
This post is a continuation of another, go here to start at the beginning.
The feeding ends.
As the chaos dies down, I am sitting with a little one on my lap. She’s just started walking within the last few months and she’s scarfed down an entire man-sized portion of rice and stew. But she’s not acting normal today, typically a ball of energy and attitude – she’s distant-eyed and clingy while she eats. I know something is up, so I set out to find Mona, the only one who knows the children best. She takes one look at her and takes her from my arms.
“Chou chou, sa’ou gen?” “Sweetie, what is wrong?” she asks.
And then the gates open, the children shriek and the bus pulls in.
The team is here – and the children cannot wait to play.
Mona, with baby girl in tow, goes to greet the team. She finishes her whole welcome speech and prayer with the little one on her hip. I take note of her demeanor and graceful presence as she answers questions and soothes the little one simultaneously. What a superwoman – a true hero, backed by God Almighty.
Dave comes over to me, ready for his afternoon nap I suppose. He always naps after lunch. And I love when I can be available to be the one to rock him to sleep. Mona laughs, “he’s comfortable with you.” I joke with her, “yes, it’s because I’m extra fluffy.” We sit together on the steps.
Eric joins us on the steps after getting the team going with their games and orienting them with the areas to play in.
Mona still has the little girl in her arms.
Eric is playing with some of the girls and I have Dave.
This is normal. This is the simple routine of ministry for us here at this orphanage. I love moments like this, sitting around playing with the kids and speaking about marriage, relationships, life, ministry, children, and of our partnership with Mona. I tell her she’s our Yoda – our wisdom giver.
I tell her about my jewelry line and the money she’ll be receiving for the hospital ministry and she tells me of one of the eldest boys who has been making jewelry as a hobby to sell. She runs off to find some of his creations for me to see.
Dave gets down from me and wanders off. Eric laughs “is he not going to nap? There’s a first time for everything, right?”
We laugh and the kids ask to take pictures. It’s our last ministry day, so all the team is taking their pictures today – the kids can hardly stand to wait until the end of the week but we know it’s for the best.
Eric grins and pulls out his phone. I teach the kids the word “paparazzi.” We take a thousand photos together.
Mona returns with a sack full of marvelous creations. Each beautiful in it’s own way. Some the color of sunsets, some with rich velvet and glitter glue. All handmade with the most basic jewelry findings he could get his hands on. I treasure them all. I tell her I’ll sell them in the States.
Little girl is burning up, Mona asks me to come with her. She makes her stand under the water-well. Little one cries as Mona rinses her over and over, head to toe with clean, refreshing water – from a station recently put in by a PPM team.
Naked, wet and crying, little one waddles to me and I pick her up, drenching my clothes and not caring a bit. I’m shocked, she never would have come to me over Mona. “I guess there’s a first time for everything, right?”
We laugh together.
By the time I walk the distance to the porch, she’s transformed – back into her happy, crazy self. Dancing, singing with Mona, talking gibberish non-stop. She was just overheated.
Mona knew. She always knows.
We sit back down and notice a boy named Mackendy is crying and angry in a team members arms. She brings him to me. Mona explains to me that he, like some of the others, comes from a rough home-life, and his spirit was broken when he first started coming to the feeding program. Trust doesn’t come easy to him.
I cling to him tightly, trying to soothe his panic attack. He clutches my clothes and Mona coaches me on how to best calm him down.
He slowly transforms, finally letting loose and forgetting whatever pain he was dealing with in that moment. Mona and I sing and play with him. His smile makes her giggle and laugh. She loves all of these children so much, without barriers on her heart.
Where is Dave? I wonder to myself. Hope he didn’t go off by himself to sleep. I get up to go find him. My heart full in that moment.
5 Minutes of My Day is a series of the more intimate moments in our ministry. Launching off of something Eric said to me one day: “When you are overwhelmed or stressed and Satan is on you, focus on the little things. The small moments that make you remember why you live this life. Why you love this ministry.” So here it is, the good the bad and the ugly. Snapshots of 5ish minutes of my day.