From the beginning of our day to the very end, our day was completely filled with playtime with the kids of Arise Home. We laughed hard, we gave lots of hugs, we played tons of games, and we made a lot of memories. Baseball is a staple at the Arise Home. Every time we arrive, we find the kids in the yard with baseball gloves on, tossing the ball or hitting them over the fence with a broomstick. Naturally, we jump right in with them.
We are so thankful for the sweet Showell family who opened up their home to our rambunctious crew. The Showells are from America, and Eric Showell works for World Vision in Zambia. Truly, we brought a circus to their house, and they hosted us with such graciousness. The fun began at their swimming pool. You cannot IMAGINE the joy that bursted from the kids when we got there, and the chaos that took over that pool. For all the kids, it was only their second time to ever go swimming. So we kept a watchful eye over them, and then sat there with huge smiles on our faces as we watched our 9 kids play without a single worry in the world. For hours, they wore each other out with splashing, jumping, laughing, and playing games. So many times,we would look at each other and say, "how is it THIS good?" This is truly God's grace overflowing. We always prayed that in our care, these children would get to act like children. And there is NO doubt in our minds that today perfectly exemplified that hope.
After a long day of swimming, we ate a big lunch, and continued playtime. The Showells have bikes, scooters, and carts to occupy the kids for days. Some swang on their rope swing, and some decorated cupcakes on the porch. Even in Zambia, we manage to find a pingpong table to entertain us. We thanked the Showells, and got in our van to head home. What was once a singing & cheering car ride going to the Showells, was now a car full of sleepy kids all laying on each other exhausted. The sign of a perfect day!
We got home, and snuggled onto the couches of the library. Each of kids chose a book for us to read aloud. And as the rain poured down outside, there was no other place in this world we would rather be. Lucy and Miyanda, our two precious house moms, made pancakes for dinner. And then we said our goodbyes for the day, as the children got tucked into bed.
Our cheeks are sunburned and soar from smiling all day long. We are soaking up our time in Zambia, and with the kids of Arise Home. For all the sponsors of the kids who are reading this, let us tell you firsthand... Because of YOU, these kids are absolutely thriving. Their precious lives have been turned upside down, and are now consumed with love. They are all chatterboxes, constantly giggling, singing, playing and hugging each other. They are a family in every sense of the word. They all have unbelievable stories and come from tragic pasts, but the Lord has redeemed them, and His joy literally pours out of the walls of Arise Home.
With more to come tomorrow, we can hardly imagine it getting any better than today.