The morning started with the big boys loading up the plastic Easter eggs while Harvin stood watch to ensure each egg was filled with the EXACT same number of jelly beans. And of course the ‘fillers’ had to decide how they would divide up the leftovers. Hmm, didn’t take long to sort that.
Then the real joy began. Down at the 2nd homes, we had tears of joy when we placed Desami in the walker and waited. Within a flash he was in position and took his FIRST STEP with a big smile emblazoned across his face. The kids gathered around and cheered him on. While the walker is still too big for him, he totally got the hang of it and moved right along. The tears streamed down my face as I watched this miracle….being present to the joy of each step.
Then we were off to church. The congregation greeted Harvin,, me and the kids with open arms. The kids got ushered off to the kids’ section. Within moment a lovely woman slipped between Harvin and me to translate the service. 3 hours of translating is a big gift to give and she did it beautifully.
Given that yesterday kicked off a month long to commemoration of the genocide that started 18 years ago yesterday. The Pastor explained that it is a hard time, because want to celebrate Easter with lots of music and dancing, but to honor our family, friends and country we will not do it. We will use our hands as instruments and while we will sing some joy filled music, it will be a bit more reserved.
There was lots of preaching about loving the country, the window and the orphans. At New Hope Homes we are blessed to be able to do all three!
The Pastor – Lillian recognized Harvin and waved at him during the service. Afterwards she greeted us and asked when we could get together. We agreed to do lunch on Tuesday.
On the way back home we went by the neighborhood kids and greeted them. Most of them were at church but we saw some of our regular friends.
After the service, Harvin and I both crashed for an hour while the kids went down to the first house to play and have lunch. We both slept like rocks…I started my crazy dreams that come from anti-malaria pills…Harvin said he dreamed that he was sleeping – but then he woke up and realized he was!
We loaded up the projector, computer, jelly bean filled eggs and YES..THE PEEPS. Please people. Peeps are critical. How could we celebrate Easter without introducing PEEPS? The Easter celebration was complements of 6 year old Christian who gave me $15 from his piggy bank before I left. If you recall, he helped us fund the ice cream party in January. Christian – the son of Patty and Chris who help support the Desami twins recently had a very interesting conversation with he Dad a week or so ago. Chris asked him what he would do if he won the $540MM lottery. After a brief think time he said. “ I would keep $200 and give the rest to Auntie Donna so the kids in Rwanda could have ice cream parties all the time AND we could really help them.” Ya, I hope you tearing up too. Aaimee Reker and family also tucked some PEEPS into the contraband. Their family supplied 34 pair of brand new shoes for the kids. Yes, we are so blessed by so many of you who have show our kids so much love from ½ way around the world.
Down at the 2nd and 3rd homes, I taught some of the kids to play Mexican train. They love cards, so I figured they would pick the dominoes game quickly…and boy did they. They went round and round and had great fun.
When all the little kids woke up from their naps we played together and then decided it was time to hide the eggs. The little kids when inside while the big kids hid them. Then the big kids explained that the little kids should go run and find them. The giggles could be heard from blocks away as they discovered their treasures.
Lined up on the steps they all yelled “THANK YOU CHRISTIAN” hoping he could hear them in America. When the jelly beans were eaten we broke out the PEEPS. They seemed to like them…and of course the sticky fingers required a Harvin led forced march to the water station to wash up.
Desami then went for an nice stroll with his walker on the driveway, grass and sidewalk. The kids cheered him on with every step. Some time he would step on his curled up feet step by step…but then sometimes, he would simply swing his body and roll forward…in either case he was walking!!!! He was moving where he wanted to go, even in the grass. At one point he discovered he could get down to his knees and then he really took off, but we were afraid he would do a faceplant with the walker. The walker is clearly too big for him, but it’s a start. Remember, his twin brother has full motion of his body so we believe that with prayer, encouragement and some PT he will be able to reach his fullest God-given potential…and that’s all we can ask for.
Tonight was movie night. We set up the projector and they picked Music Man. I was so excited to try it out again as we brought a big transformer so the projector didn’t overheat again due to the 220 volts here. But alas, even with that it was foiled…so we watched a part of the it on the wall and part on the computer…but it was a snuggle fest for all the kids as they each try if they can get into one of our arms. As you know, these is nothing sweeter in life that having a kid fall asleep in your arms…and for these kids, they don’t get the opportunity to do that much…so all you people that say you want to come here…the simple gift of giving one of our kids the peace and security of your arms would make the whole trip worth it.
As we walked up the hill with the big kids to get them to bed, Lionel wanted to learn the words to “pick a little, talk alitte…cheep cheep talk a lot pick a little more” from Music Man on the way up the hill. He thought is was a quite a funny song!
It’s 11 pm here, Harvin has put the kids to bed after making them pushup, planks and telling funny stories.
All and all – yes indeed the kids and volunteers of New Hope Homes feel very blessed to be together this joyous Easter. If you want a last memory of the day…picture Desami’s first steps…that should get you through…Thanks Becky and family for fundig the walker and his new PT…you have changed a child’s life forever. YES INDEED, LIFE IS MADE UP OF MOMENTS…AND THIS MOMENT WILL LAST A LIFETIME.