On Monday Alex and I started our work at Mercy Home Orphanage. What an experience we had. I think we were both a little uneasy about going, but soon we were feeling very comfortable. All of the children that were there at the time came up to us and shook our hands and greeted us with smiles and thanks for coming to help them.
Alex and I started out by raking trash and weeds up into a pile so that it could be burned later. We were cleaning an area so that we might plant some vegetables there later. We had wonderful help surrounding us. Not only did some of the larger boys that lived there help us, we also had our driver Tabu, and our lovely friend Susan working with us to make a difference. We felt that we all made a good team and we could really make this place into a real home.
I realized after a while that raking was something I was not good at so I left my rake behind and traded it in for a broom. I went in the kitchen area which is really not any kind of kitchen we have ever seen. This is a really primitive kitchen. It has a dirt floor, brick for counters and three piles of bricks stacked three or four high as their stove. This kitchen was need of some tender love and care and I was just the person to do it.
However, as I entered the kitchen there was a young man working on a fire to cook the lunch (corn flour in water) for the children. His name is Vincent. Vincent has been living at Mercy Home since he can remember. He does not know his mother or father so this is the only place he considers as home. Vincent says he is fifteen years old, but there again he is not sure of his age because there are no records of his birth. Can you imagine going through life not really knowing how old you are, or why you wound up in an orphanage instead of with your parents? Even with this sad story Vincent had the most beautiful smile on his face. He is so sweet and he and I had a good time working in the kitchen. We have plans to build a proper stove and cooking area, as well as repair the counters and the walls that have fallen down in places. We also have plans to replace that dirt floor with a cement floor so it will be easier to clean and more sanitary. Vincent said he will be right there with me to do all the hard work.
I also found out that Vincent likes to work with his hands. Later when we were resting he took me to show me his sculptures he had made when he can get supplies, which is not very often. Vincent said making things really makes him happy, so already my wheels are turning in my head to find a way to help him continue expanding on his artwork.
We also talked about our love of music and how a person can do so much to lift some ones spirit through song. So he and I started singing… He sang some of his songs and I sang him some of mine. It was a true friendship that we were building and I believe that it will last a lifetime. All of this in just a few hours…. Can you imagine what is to come?????? I can’t wait!!!!