This is Shae & Nadia updating you about our first full week in country. We have really enjoyed this week and truly treasured every second we had to spend with the kids. Every moment spent away from them is time spent planning for the next days activities or reflecting with our team on what has happened. We cannot believe it has already been a week since we’ve been here, but we are thankful for each day we’ve been given to the kids.
In the beginning, our team of 13 people split into two subgroups. One team works with children ages 2-12, and the second group works with the teenagers ages 13-17. Both Nadia and I (Shae) have been working with the teenagers. At first, we felt a little challenged and worried we may not connect with them. However, it is truly a blessing that we have managed to build such unique and strong bonds with the teen girls during our time with them. Each day after discussion, we split into separate groups. Dave & Max meet with the boys, while Loran, Kyla, Hanna, Nadia and I meet with the girls. Despite our initial worry, we’ve seen such openness with the girls. Even though there is a language barrier, on only the second day most of them opened up and shared their stories! In our time sharing our personal stories and lessons, the Lord has provided us with the perfect opportunities to share of His worth in our lives and how He has helped us through our struggles. It’s amazing to see how God used our personal stories of struggles to reach the girls. These girls have become our motivation to get out of bed each morning, and they truly brighten our days.
Besides working with the children on a daily basis, we had a chance to explore the city a bit and go sightseeing. This past Friday night a group of seven of us went out to experience the city at night and watch the bridges open up. As the city is full of rivers and beautiful bridges all over watching them rise at night for boats to pass is a big celebration for all the locals here, and it was a great opportunity for us to join them on the celebration and connect with the culture. We also had the chance to visit a famous palace which is now a museum. Filled with art, artifacts, sculptures and other amazing things, some of us got lost in the hallways of history. However, this was such an important part of connecting and better understanding the culture. We ended the night by seeing the ballet. Our favorite part about all of this was coming back to the girls and sharing with them everything we’ve seen. Their faces lit up when we share things we’ve seen in their country and how much we enjoyed it all.
As we start a new week with the children, we are trusting God to lead our conversations, discussion and the time we have with the teenagers. God has moved so much already, but we know His work isn’t finished yet. We are open to be His instruments and to be used by Him to reach every teenager.
We appreciate everyone’s support and prayers. Thank you for praying for our team and reading our blog. We feel so blessed! Our prayer request for this week is to be bold in everything we do and dive in deeper with the teenagers to accomplish God’s work.
-Shae & Nadia