Go. I've been contemplating my four-minute post for a few hours now and, with no clear topic in mind, I finally decided to just start typing.
Last night was my last intern class of the year. It was overwhelmingly incredible, to say the least. But I already blogged about that over on the Field Blog.
This afternoon I'm taking the interns for their last visit to Hope House. I know it's going to be emotional; they've poured themselves into these kids for an entire year...
We leave Monday morning at the ungodly hour of 4:00 to drive to Cape Town for a week of debriefing. I'm looking forward to one last hurrah with them. And I can't wait to see me some jackass penguins. (I'm serious! They exist! And they live in Africa!)
I talk often about the revolving door of my life in ministry --- how I tire of the constant turnaround of people. I must confess: I've grown to dread this time of year. All the goodbyes and the need to reopen my heart to start over? Man oh man, it's hard for me.
So will you do me a favor? Every time you drink a hot frothy beverage in one of those gloriously divine red to-go cups, remember me and say a quick prayer for my heart.
Go. Last week at Hope House (the orphanage we work at each Friday) the interns told the story of Paul's conversion. Matt narrated and Shannon played a very dramatic Paul. (You've gotta overcompensate when you're the wrong gender for the part...)
After explaining how God got Paul's attention and asked him to "work for Him", Matt asked the kids how they thought Paul responded.
One girl raised her hand. "He said, 'Yes'."
"That's right," Matt replied. "And what do you think God said next?"
There was a long pause. A little boy stood up to answer. "He said, 'Thank you.'"
Go. I'm off to Hope House in an hour. That's the local orphanage I take our interns to each Friday afternoon. This is one of the things I missed most while I was in America.
I love watching the kids' eyes light up as they learn something new. I love seeing them shoot their hands in the air, volunteering to help with the object lesson. I love the zeal with which they recite their memory verses.
But mostly I love sitting quietly with one or two of them, lavishing them with love and feeling my heart be strengthened.
I've been hearing stories of how much the kids have grown, and all the new things they're capable of doing now. I'm looking forward to seeing a healthy Nkosi, a walking, talking, happy Katleho, an interactive Mbali. I'm looking forward to seeing our interns in action, doing what they do best.
I'm tired today and feel like I don't have much to offer. But my arms aren't too tired to hug and to hold; that much I can do. I can be a quiet refuge for a child who needs just that.
This is the perfect ending to my week.
I just reread an email a friend sent me after my surgery a few weeks ago. I saved it in my inbox because I knew I wanted to read it again. But I couldn't remember exactly why when I clicked on it tonight. And then I got to the last sentence.
"Oh, and Kitty... I sure am glad you woke up."
There is so much love, understanding, and care wrapped into that sentence. My heart can feel the hug of Amy's words in a way not many will ever understand.
And soon I'll be hugging her back. For real.
Off to pick up some Kitties!