This blog comes to you from a sea-side cafe with some wonderful Wi-Fi!!!
We've just finished our third day at the women and children's center. Our time there so far has been filled with giggles, bracelets, and Uno! The children are adorable! They are always so happy to play with us at the center. They are entertained by anything we can come up with! The last couple of days we have been making bracelets - nice, glass beads for the mothers and bigger, colored beads for the children. We usually have to fight for the children to use their own beads, some of the girls have taken a liking to the nicer beads that their mothers have been given instead of the simpler beads they have. We struggle to keep track of how many bracelets each child makes because they often want five or six instead of the two they are allowed and will hide the ones they've already made in their pockets to trick us. We have also been roped into a couple dozen games of Uno, the children love playing the card game and ask for it often.
Our days are spent coloring and talking with the women and children who know some broken English. It is hard to communicate most of the time, but when you are able to break through the language barrier, what you are able to learn about a person is incredible. Any time you are able to show someone at the center that you care, they start to open up. We have heard heartbreaking stories of lawyers, doctors, and government employees being forced from their countries and required to walk for months without stopping for more than a few hours a time. Yesterday, as we held an 8 month old baby, her mother told one of the other women about their trip. They were forced to leave the country 15 days after their baby had been born via c-section. The bombings forced them to leave, they walked and walked, carrying their newborn baby. If we knew the languages being spoken here, it would be impossible to listen to these stories all day. A couple of the girls working in the center speak Arabic and today took turns sitting in the craft closet, hoping for a few minutes to process the things they heard without being interrupted by another tragic tale begging to be heard.
We have two more days at the center. Having now run out of beads, tomorrow we will be doing hand massages and painting fingernails. Please pray that this will be an opportunity to hear more stories and that we would be able to process them well. Pray also for guidance as we consider the best ways to serve these people in the future.
Unfortunately, we cannot share many of the photos from the center. We can, however, share some pictures of the rest of this beautiful island! Here is the link to the album, please let me know if it doesn't work! https://photos.app.goo.gl/i86kkvj7Ktbeuqpe2
Thank you for your continued prayers!
Dawn, Taylor, and Courtney
P.s. Courtney is the one coming up with our blog titles...