Smiles Bright Like the Sun

THE SUN WAS SHINING AND WE WERE SO EXCITED TO START OUR DAY!!!! Prior to heading out for the day, we had a delicious breakfast prepared by the gracious hands of Rose. Our first adventure of the day was visiting a village for water filter demonstrations and fellowship with the community members. As we arrived, some women from the village had prepared a welcoming dance routine for our group. We all appreciated this from afar, but were quickly encouraged to join them in dancing and praise. Although all members of our group failed to master the variety of dance steps, it was an amazing experience and brought a smile to our faces. A children’s choir also welcomed us with a song. Following the welcome, we did a series of brief introductions and transitioned into serving the children their breakfast. As we walked to the school house for breakfast, each of us had a swarm of kids clinging to our arms. While the children were eating breakfast, we had the opportunity to sit with them and enjoy their joyful presence. Their smiles are so radiant and contagious. We moved right into the water filter demonstrations after the children had finished their breakfast. Similar to our experiences from the last few days, this was a really humbling experience. The authentic joy that was evident when seeing the pure water drain out of the filter was eye-opening.

The next portion of our day included a series of home visits where two women graciously welcomed us into their homes. They were willing to be vulnerable with us, sharing us intimate details regarding their past. We were fortunate to be able to share a number of verses and words of encouragement, followed by prayers of praise and support from members of our group. It was a powerful experience, and we could feel God’s presence in each of the homes that we were welcomed into.

We were ecstatic for the final portion of our afternoon that included another visit to a village, where we did another water filter demonstration and led a sports clinic. Following the water filter explanation, we gathered the children in the field and separated them into groups for stations. This was an uplifting experience to share our love for sports with the children. They were all really engaged and couldn’t help but have big smiles on their faces. At the end of the clinic, we gathered as an entire group and played a large game of sharks and minnows. As you may imagine, this could be described as organized chaos. Following lots of heart-felt hugs, we began our journey back to the Sports Outreach compound.

At devotions tonight, we took some time to affirm one another and share the love. We have quickly become a tight-knit family. During the remainder of the trip, we look forward to continuing to see how our relationships continue to grow and the ways in which God works.

With love,
H & E (aka Hayden and Erica)

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