Monday we left Georgetown for a bit. It was nice to get out of the city and see a different side of Guyana. After driving a while we reached a boat dock and took about an hour ride on the Demerara River (that led into Kamuni Creek) aboard a small wooden boat with a small outboard engine. Our destination was the Santa Mission, a community of about 300 Amerindians. We walked the sand, past a four hundred year old tree and had a glimpse of rural life. The residents there make baskets and jewelry out of natural products and many internationals visit them to purchase these well made items. After a short tour and shopping we were back in the boat and headed back to the city.
The rest of the afternoon was spent at a local hotel where we hosted a pool party for the children of The Ruimveldt Children's Home and Care Centre. Concord Baptist Church of Statesville, NC used our Caroline's Promise banks for Orphan Sunday, last November. They were able to collect several hundred dollars. This money was used to host the pool party and later this week, the team will be able to purchase school shoes for the kids. We arrived minutes before the kids...all 20 of them piling out of the van and ready to jump in the water! The team blew up over 20 swimmies and floats which came in handy, since most of the kids couldn't swim. Even the babies got in the pool!
Several years ago, a friend of ours told me the story of a trip to Hephzibah Children's Home in Macon, Georgia. They were at the pool with the kids and one little girl asked our friend, "Can you be my Grandpa today?" Of course he said, "Yes!" Delighted, she jumped back in the pool and said, "Watch this Grandpa!" I've always remembered that story and the impact our friend's presence made in that little girl's life for an afternoon. Something so simple as responding to her cries of, "Watch me!" I wonder how many children around the world would be thrilled just to have someone to "watch me!" Our presence is a simple thing to give. Lord, help us to remember this!
Well, that happened to our team today. Each of us had at least two kids hanging on us at all times yelling, "Auntie - look at me!" "Uncle, play with me!" FOUR hours later our bodies were sore, our faces were red, but we were thrilled. I'm sure the children slept as well as we did that night! It was such a joy for us to watch the children rest on their floats and swim away in their thoughts; and it was a beautiful way to love on orphans.