Thursday, July 14, 2016
This is my second longer-term trip to One Family. Being an apprentice leader has a unique set of joys and challenges. It is difficult when the kids let you in more and more, when they begin to share their story, or talk about their parents and siblings they long to see again. It is hard to see the first-time experiencers have their hearts broken, because I know what it feels like.
But the joys! They are numerous. Being recognized and told "I was counting down the days until you came, I am so happy you are here!", learning more Creole to better communicate with the community around me, and having the opportunities to share my passion and dream alongside fellow young women close to my age.
One thing I have learned this trip is that joy and sorrow can coexist in my heart. In fact, both are inevitable when you love others well and fearlessly. It means the love runs deeply and the relationship is genuine. It means the relationships I have here will be maintained.
My favorite moment of this trip has been the discovery of a new song. The kids here at One Family tend to get stuck on one song they love to dance to. They have a repertoire of about six English songs that are played repeatedly. In recent months, the crowd has been a tune called "Say Yes" by Kelly Rowland (and featuring the former members of Destiny's Child...no joke). I can't tell you how many times I've heard this song.
Thankfully, the last few weeks the kids have been asking for a song called "Not Forgotten".
The chorus goes:
"I am not forgotten,
I am not forgotten,
I am not forgotten,
God knows my name,"
Seeing countless children, many of whom have been deemed unworthy somewhere along the way, excitedly sing the words "I am not forgotten," and believe them is indescribable. Seeing children who are currently separated from their earthly parents, but know they have a Heavenly Father, is indescribable. I feel it is a privilege and an honor love them and have a small role in the way they experience God's love. That I know their names, commit to them, and ensure they know their worth- to myself, but most importantly to our Father.
This trip has been full; full of sorrow and joy. Sorrow for the kids who are growing up without a mom and dad, but joyful that God does not forget us, calls us child, and knows our names.