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Monday, October 20, 2008

Fall Fun

It's always a treat to enjoy a host family with another chaperone. Friday night after the concert I had the pleasant surprise of sharing a host family with Angela and four girls. We made the trek out to the country from Springfield IL and were greeted by some friendly dogs, horses, and cows. Some of the girls thought it would be a good idea to ride the cows, apparently what they do at home but they were persuaded to ride the horses instead.

Peace and Rachael were not afraid at all to hop onto the horse. We were able to enjoy a lazy Saturday morning on the farm. There was even time for a little rehearsal.

The Auntie and Uncle lent us the appropriate attire for a day at the farm! The girls loved wearing the cowboy hats.

We have been in Springfield since Saturday and are heading out tomorrow morning. We will have a bit of a crazy schedule for the next couple of days. On Tuesday night we will have a concert and drive directly to Indianapolis to spend a very short night in a hotel. I will then wave goodbye to the choir and six of the chaperones very early in the morning as they head to San Fransisco. While they back up Josh Groban at a OnexOne benefit I will be on a mini vacation in Chicago. Once Saturday morning hits we will all be on the road together heading to Evansville, IN for a Sunday morning concert. Tour life never gets boring and there are always new places to see. I'm hoping though to enjoy some familiar sites and people over a few days in Chicago!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Child-like Faith

Daily I am struck by the children's words, whether it is their vocabulary that cracks me up . . . "Auntie are you wearing a braid in your hair because it was disturbing you?" or their hysteria as they see a Chicago Train go underground. But over the last few days I have been watching as their words demonstrate how God is working in their lives.

I had the opportunity to stay in the middle of a cornfield with farmers last week. The two girls I was with absolutely loved it, it reminded them of home, all of the maize surrounding the house. One afternoon the girls asked what the tractor was so our lovely host auntie took us to a corn field and we had the opportunity to go inside a brand new combine and see how it all worked. As we were driving along the combine had to dump the corn into the trailer so I was commenting to the Uncle about how much the tractor would hold. Out of the blue Peace chimed in, "Auntie, God knows how many pieces of corn, he can count them one by one." I just sat there and said yes, He definitely knows. It struck me how quickly and innocently Peace acknowledged the omniscience of God.

Again tonight as I was tucking in three boys, we sat around with the host family and each one prayed. It was Gilbert's (small) turn to pray and told the Lord that we did not have anything to give to this host family, but he asked God to reward them. I just sat again in amazement as this little 10 year old recognized his limitations, but knew that God was able to bless those who serve Him.

It is truly a joyful experience to be surrounded by these children. Even when, on the bus, I have my ipod in (Jackson has started calling it my applesauce because it has an Apple sticker on the back) and my eyes are closed and Jackson continues to ask questions and talk as if we were having a conversation. I get greeted with 22 smiling faces and warm hugs every morning and they fight to tell me their latest adventure with their host families. When I become weary and doubtful of why I have chosen to live out of a suitcase for 15 months, I am quickly reminded that I have the amazing opportunity to somehow teach these children lasting lessons that will grow them into people who are changing Africa!

little Christopher enjoying some ice cream and watching a personal fireworks show, compliments of wonderful hosts!