Saturday, some of the team went down to Bamenda. It is a bigger city about a two hour drive south towards Douala. There is only one road that takes you from Douala to Fundong. Bamenda is on the way. We passed through Bamenda on our way from the airport in Douala to Fundong (where we are now at Harvest Children’s Home), but we were there around 5 am, and I was very sleep deprived. All I remember about traveling through Bamenda was all the lights that you could see when we looked over the edge of the mountain we traveled on.
The drive would have been two hours, but after stopping for gas in Belo, the biggest city between Fundong and Bamenda, we lost our breaks.
They just fell off the car.
Yep, we heard a “CLINK” and then a “Buh BOOM” and then we had no breaks.
Thankfully, we were traveling up a slight hill at the time so we were able to stop using the emergency break.
Another reminder that God is watching out for us!!
We were able to get a repair man from Belo to come and fix our breaks (he put new break pads on both front tires) in 30 minutes for only 3000 FCS. (Which is about 6 US Dollars). Wow.
When we finally got to Bamenda, it was a lot like Douala. I’m sure it is different, but to me, it just looked like another city. I don’t really like cities. But we were able to do a lot of shopping.
Then we met with Justin’s Friend, Roland’s, family. They fed us and gave us some things to give to Roland, who just graduated from TCU with Justin.
Roland’s Father, Thompson, asked me if any of the children called me “White Girl.” I told him I didn’t think so, but he told me that I probably just didn’t hear them.
That was the first time I felt like I didn’t belong here.
That night, after devotion at the orphanage, Justin showed a slideshow of all the pictures we had taken all week. The children were just as loving and accepting as always. Its funny how children are more open to new people and ideas than adults are. No wonder Jesus encourages us to be like children.
After devotion and the slide show, Justin and I gave out light sticks.
We gave out 10 for the kids to share. They had never seen them before! They threw them up into the air like fireworks! They asked Justin how to “Off them” (their way of saying turn them off) so they could save them for another night. Justin had to tell the kids that the lights would “Off themselves” after a few hours.
Then I got to play games with some of the girls. Picture “Ring Around the Rosey,” in another language (holding hands, running around in a circle, falling down at some specific point that I could never seam to figure out…)
Also think of that game “Little Sally Walker” where you stand in a circle clapping and one person is in the middle and dances around and then you switch when the music says to. Only, I didn’t exactly speak the same language, so it was hard for me to figure out when to switch.
Justin has pictures. I was so out of place, and yet so accepted and so exactly where I needed to be all at the same time. It’s hard to explain.
After the kids went to bed, Justin and I sat out on the porch of the school across the field from the orphanage. We talked, shared stories, and listened to each other’s feelings. Sometimes laughing, sometimes crying, sometimes just sitting. I shared with him my fear that after I leave, I will be nothing more than a memory for these children.
And I want to be so much more than just a memory!
I want to be here for them, to help them. To let them know they are all valuable and precious and loved by not only God, but by people too. To sit with them. To share with them. To laugh and to cry with them. To heal them when they are sick. But I can’t do that all now.
Justin reassured me, repeating a line that Emmanuel had said to him last year, “We are leaving more than just shadows here.”
God is showing me that the world is bigger than just the United States. There is SO much need. I am only one person, but I will do what I can.