Luke 24:13-32
This is Jesus heartburn(I have to credit Dallas Willard for this term!)...31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?"

Thursday, October 21, 2010


It's been a little over 2 weeks since we went to pick up Mary. Tonight I just want to share with you the progress she has made because of some AMAZING caregivers at TRS.
Here is a picture of her when we picked her up...
she cried the whole trip home, nothing we could do helped this terrified little girl relax. The first week at the center was difficult as well. Every time I went to visit her she was either sleeping or crying; I have to say it was some of the most heartbreaking sounds I have ever heard. The aunties, I am sure, were frustrated with her constant cries and worried about her; but they continued to call out her name, cuddle with her, feed her, and include her into the life of the baby room.
Yesterday when I went to visit, it was as if a new little girl was in Mary's crib. She laughed and smiled. She showed excitement when people spoke to her and she even let me hold her for a while without getting really upset. Today, I went back to get some pictures of this new Mary.
She has been through such trauma in her life and there is still a long way to go for healing; but she has found a new brothers, sisters, aunties, and uncles...and now she smiles and laughs and plays with all of us. What a treasure!

and just because it's extremely cute...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Some Pictures of Today...

I never get enough pictures of me or the kids so today I decided to take some time taking snaps!
 Today we decided it was his turn to carry me around:)

 LOVE the smile.

 Pure Happiness!

 So cute!

 Never stops smiling!

 All I want for Christmas!


Saturday, October 9, 2010


There are days when I am at the center and all I can see is the things that we still need. Clothes wear out and pack backs fall apart. Beds need replacing and towels fall apart. There are so many things that I would like to have for these children and I am confident that these things will come. Yesterday, I was reminded how good our kids have it. How TRS is truly saving the orphan….

We had a 10 year-old boy show up at our center on Tuesday looking for help. He said his mom had died and he was living with his dad and needed help with school. I could tell that he was malnourished by his hair. He didn't have shoes and he was dirty. We gave him food on and asked him to come back the next day so our social worker could do an investigation and find out what the whole story was. On Wednesday the social worker visited his home and came back with a report that it was really bad living conditions. He felt like we couldn't take the boy into our center because he had living relatives that were trying to care for him but that we should consider helping with food and school. I bought a bag of rice on Thursday and delivered it yesterday.

I haven't spent much time in Freetown in people's homes. I recognize that the building we've rented for the kids and the guest house I am staying is are very nice compared to many of the places that one could live. But I was struck on Friday by the difference in a new way. We walked up to a small, house made out of aluminum/zinc siding. It was the size of my bathroom and 6 people were living there. No door, just a sheet and a concrete floor. No bathroom or water or lights or the things that we just expect a home to have. The bag of rice will last for a month or two if they are careful; we've figured out a way for the boy to go to school. I'm praying that it will work out for him and that there might be a way to help the family to continue to have the things that they need.

It was good to remember how blessed our kiddos are and they continue to tell me how grateful they are for the little things…3 meals a day, a bed to sleep in, clothes to wear, a fine house, and lots of love!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Jesus Hair

The kids love my hair. I usually keep it up in a ponytail but they are always pulling on it and asking if they can braid it and see it. Today while we were sitting outside after rest time I took it out so they could braid away. As soon as I let it down they started talking about Jesus hair. Aunty your hair is like Jesus…you have Jesus hair. I tried with my small, small Krio to explain to them that Jesus didn't have hair like mine…he wasn't Scandinavian! "Aunty Jesus is a white man!" "We have seen his picture!"

I remember the first time I saw a painting of a black Jesus in Haiti, I was 16 and hadn't really spent anytime thinking about what Jesus looked like. I assumed he looked just like the pictures I saw in Sunday School and the one on the wall at home. A nice, white man with light brown hair and a friendly smile—we have some of the same pictures of Jesus at the center for our kids to look at. They love picture books about Jesus and I love using these books to teach them the stories of him. Today I could not convince the kids that Jesus was not a white man and with their fascination and elevation of white people and American culture it's even harder for them to grasp.

I'm not really sure where I am going with this, except to say my head and heart are stirring about it. Makes me wonder about culture and spirituality; how our perception of the image of God affects how we live out our faith.

They also find all the pieces that fall out and return them to me. Sometimes they try to stick it back to my head which I find hilarious!

Saturday, October 2, 2010


The last few weeks in Sierra Leone have been difficult  for me for many reasons and I am so grateful today for a God who gently leads and guides me. We are made for relationship. To know and be love and be loved and for any of you who have ever packed up your life and moved far away you know that feeling of having your heart in 2 places, or more!

I think I fell in love with Charlie Hall the first time I heard him sing; the words to his songs grab my heart and attention so often. This week it's been a song called "I will overcome" and I want to share it with you, (you can find the song on youtube if you want to hear it). And say thank you for the sweet words of encouragement and prayers that you have given me recently. Thanks!

And I can see that my hands are trembling, I can see that my legs are weak

I can see that my head is spinning, but I will overcome
And I know that my heart is hurting, And I know that my soul it aches
And I know that it seems I'm failing, but I will overcome, yeah

O Lord I'm strong in You, O Lord I am wise in You
O Lord I can see in You, so I will overcome
O Lord I'm loved by You, O Lord I am free in you
O Lord I'm complete in You
So I will overcome, I will overcome, I will overcome

God listen to me shout, I'm so far from anywhere and I'm calling out
Lead me, lead me to the rock that is higher than I
You're my breath, You're my breath, You're my very life
Infinite, Holy King meets weak and frail Christ in me
And I will overcome not by my strength but by Your grace and love