A Visit With Some Old Friends

April 22, 2010 at 8:29 pm Leave a comment

It has been months since I left tour to come home and jump into the next chapter of this crazy saga we simply title ‘life.’ Since then much has happened, I played Marian in The Music Man at The Palace Theatre and will soon be playing Eliza in My Fair Lady. God has shown Himself faithful in my decision and confirmed over and over that I made the right decision. I couldn’t be happier with the path that I am on . . . yet I miss the children.

They have been in and out of Ohio several times in the past few months and I have been fortunate enough to be able to visit them twice since leaving tour! Both of my visits were wonderful and I have been so impressed with how they are growing and changing!

When I arrived for my first visit in Lebanon, Ohio no one knew I was coming except for Michelle. The kids were nicely lined up by the bus when I popped my head outside the church and said “Hi Children!” A majority of them ran to me and hugged me so excitedly that I was fighting to stay on my feet. Some of the screamed and some of them jumped up and down. But there were a few reactions I was not expecting. A handful of them froze where they were, their mouths hanging open as they just stared and cried. And after a few minutes of greeting me, many of them ran back into the bus, coming out with envelopes and folded up letters. I turned to Michelle, “I thought it was a surprise that I was coming!” She said, “It was, they have been writing those letters since the day you left!”

I couldn’t believe it, so many letters written to me, and – they had held on to them for so long! I brought them home and put them on top of a manila envelope full of the letters from them, most of them from the day I left. I haven’t read a single one. I just don’t have the heart. I hope to read them soon though, that will be a post all of it’s own.

This is a photo from my second trip. During my first visit Nancy pulled a hair from my head saying, “it’s how I will remember you.” I told her she better remember me without that silly strand of hair. She put the hair under her headband and let it hang in her face. When I came back weeks later for my second visit she laugh giggled as she hugged me and pulled out an orange post-it. “What is that?” I asked. She was laughing so hard she couldn’t speak, but she held the hair up for me to see. She had held on to it for weeks!

Brian, the child I sponsor, is growing like a weed! He has grown at least a few inches since I left tour. During my first visit the children kept talking about the day I left. Everyone kept saying, “Auntie, I went to bed with a wet pillow.” (from crying so much) And one of them told me, “Auntie, the day you left we missed you so much. So much that Auntie called for seconds at dinner and no one went!” Sad, but hilarious. “Not even Brian?!” I asked. “Not even Brian.” (Brian ALWAYS goes for seconds!) Nancy eventually ended the talk of ‘the day I left’ by saying, “You people be quiet, I don’t want to talk baout the saddest day on tour anymore!” Thanks Nancy!

It was wonderful to see the children, and I hope to see them again before they leave.

Oh, and hey – speaking of leaving – when the children head back to Africa the organization sends them home with a suitecase full of clothes, sheets, school supplies, etc for them to take to boarding school back in Africa! Awesome, huh? They find people to sponsor each suitecase, you get a list of what that specific child needs, purchase it all, and send it off to them! I am doing one myself and I can’t wait to go shopping for it! If you are interested in providing a suitecase (the whole project is projected to cost $700/case) you can contact me for more details!

Until next time . . .

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One does discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time. - Andre Gide
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