Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Invading Every Crevice of Our Home

"I'm so cute."


I am sitting here trying to not eat a whole bag of Jelly Belly’s that a friend just sent me. I often think that when we go back to the States next summer for a visit that I will spend my entire time roaming from grocery store to restaurant to a friend’s/family kitchen - only stopping to breathe and buy bigger pants. Living in India has definitely helped my cravings, because there is little here that I crave. I find myself dreaming of Chunky Monkey Ice Cream, a giant-sized Diet Coke from Costco, Nachos from The Good Earth, (I need to stop, this is painful) my grandmother’s sweet rolls, Balsamic Vinegar, a fresh loaf of french bread, fresh basil (I’ve tried to grow it twice, but alas, its turned into, well, nothing) and my mom’s Special K Bars... If you have any of those items this week, have an extra one for me.

I had my final Aftercare meeting today. It was really great. We celebrated Mala (back from her sabbatical), the new Aftercare Staff Manager Anik and me leaving. I felt truly blessed to be a part of something that does such quality and necessary work. The staff put their hearts and souls into walking alongside these girls - working towards health in all areas of their lives. There is so much hope to be had for these girls... And we all need someone walking alongside us cheering us on as we turn hope into reality.


Jovie celebrating today at the party. (We obviously promote healthy eating 24/7 in the Palm house.)

My season with Aftercare is not finishing, its just continuing, but in some different ways. I’ll do a weekly parenting class for the women with children. I am truly excited about this new path. Freedom Firm is not only rescuing girls and helping them turn their awful past into a life-giving journey, but now that young children are with us, we also have the opportunity to help these moms give their kids a different story than what they had growing up. I am consistently challenged with all the resources we are given in the West in regards to, well, everything. But particularly, right now, in the area of parenting. We either had great role models in our moms, grandmothers, aunts, or friends or we have so many class/book/church resources in the ways of parenting. But these girls did not have a healthy model or any tangible resources in the ways of parenting. So, I hope, together, the girls and I will try to figure out how to courageously love our kids through even the most adverse times.

Phase one of the Roja aftercare home project is done. The goal was to transform the non-secure, rubble-yard-filled home into a safe, restful home with an area ready to be gardened. The girls and Aftercare staff are ecstatic about how phase one turned out! Now we wait for government approval to start phase two. They’ve been dragging their heels, taking longer than expected to give us approval to build a second floor on Roja. And that’s our ultimate goal: a healthy, safe home where not just five, but twenty girls can be loved, taught, modeled to, given a chance at life. Please pray that the government will approve the orders and then the permit will be approved quickly so we can get started on phase two!


Roja as the work began in April - no security wall, no garden

The wall being built, Roja in the background

Same wall as the previous picture...completed.

Secure wall. Not-so-secure scaffolding!

It’s still very much raining here. The smell of damp is invading every crevice of our home. It’s rather disgusting. I wonder if I unknowingly walk around smelling like a cabin that has been closed for the winter. Or camp bunk beds. Or a sleeping bag that was stowed away improperly. Or tupperware that was put away wet. Or used bookstores. You get my drift.


We got a package this week. A mouse got it too somewhere along its journey.

7 comments:

Marsha said...

So great to read your updates and to see pictures every week. We will pray for your new endeavors in the Aftercare ministry. You will do a fantastic job of that. I love what you guys are doing. We sure miss you.
Love, Marsha

Anonymous said...

Hey Palms,
Sydney is great. Her personality is, well, her own! If we could take any of your rain here, we certainly would. Hey about that package, did the contents get chewed as well. I hope your jelly beans weren't in there.
Keep up the good work.
Aunt Sue
PS. I haven't had any of the things you are craving. I will stay away from those things and share your misery.

Dad said...

Are you sure that was a mouse? The holes big enough for a rat or mongoose or both....

Anonymous said...

when we lived in viet nam we had light bulbs installed in all our closets and during rainy season we kept them on 24/7 to help with the humidity. i'm trying to remember what else we did . . .

your ministry sounds amazing.we continue to pray for you.

fondly,
glenda

mel said...

hi! well, first of all...yes, syd...you are SO cute! and so is james and anibel and jovie...jp and t, you two are not so bad either ;)

t, what a great opp. for you to begin working with the mothers on parenting. wow...you will be fantastic at this! i love that you get to work with the women in this way...

well, its late and i just wanted to shoot off a quick note to say i love you all and am continuing in prayers, specifically over the girls new home and for completion of the building project!

thanks for another great update!
xoxo
mel

Chris said...

I love reading your updates every week. I hate getting to the end. I want them to go on and on. It sounds like you're really doing a great ministry there. I don't know how you do so much with your 4 little kids. I understand about the cravings. I would go crazy without my junk food.

Chris Van Oss

Chris said...

I love reading your updates every week. I hate getting to the end. I want them to go on and on. It sounds like you're really doing a great ministry there. I don't know how you do so much with your 4 little kids. I understand about the cravings. I would go crazy without my junk food.

Chris Van Oss