Living in Liberia has taught us the true meaning of physical and emotional exhaustion. As parents, it’s pretty easy to be exhausted where ever you are in the world with your family. They are just exhausting little creatures that know when you are the most tired and deliberately ignore this fact. How dare they?!
One thing Zach and I have learned is that no matter how hard we try, even if we turn on the TV for them to watch a movie, sit down to do some quiet coloring with them, if they are full of energy and need a change of scenery, that is EXACTLY what they need at that very moment and until they get it you are not going to get a moment of calm. After my last blog, you all have read the struggles that we have been having with the boys and their behavior. It has gotten loads better since that first half of the week a couple of weeks ago. A while back we planned to go on an adventure, and we went this past weekend. It really could not have come at a better time. We are at the 4-month mark, and we are all feeling the need to just be in nature and outside. The walls of our compound sometimes feel as if they are closing in on us and we know the rainy season is upon us so we want to do these things as long as we can.
Our friends who are missionaries in Liberia and who have been here 4 years now have a long term plan to create a self-sustainable ecotourism lodge for expats, Liberians, missionaries to come to and stay, enjoy the views, the beauty, and to get a much needed breather from the city or whatever has brought them to Liberia. On our vision trip here in October, we stayed the night with them on our last night, and it was a wonderful experience. The support, conversation, and fellowship that you get with this couple is unmatched. Zach and I still had so many questions at the end of our vision trip in October, but Joey and Kerry graciously answered them all and helped us to feel ready and prepared for this transition. Their faith is unwavering, no matter the hardships they have endured while here because they have suffered from many. They are still here working day by day with their team (made up of mostly local Liberian people) running their lodge, taking care of the farm (coconut trees, plantain trees, and so much more), and most importantly while doing all of this they are spreading Gods love with all the people they encounter.
So we planned a while back to take the boys out there to camp on the beach and let them run and do all the things that they don’t really get to do here in the city! So after a week of school, and holiday on Friday, and a week ahead that will be a break from school this trip came at a perfect time. So we left Saturday morning to head that way and when we pulled up the boys immediately couldn’t believe their eyes. Coconut trees for days, beautiful plants and flowers, and the sound of crashing waves at the private beach you could see through the trees on a little dirt path navigating through the lush vegetation.
The boys ran and played; they learned about coconut trees, weaver birds, types of shells, and much more. They got to climb huge rocks, run into the ocean, play with lots of sand, eat delicious food, and camp in a tent on the beach with the sound of thunder and waves crashing against the sand all night long. It was a great experience. It may not have been the complete break Zach, and I so badly wish for sometimes, but it was a reset for our family. Especially Zach and I. To watch our energy filled boys run and be free. They never turned down a walk down the beach, or a chance to explore different things. Even through the times they choose not to listen to us and wander maybe a little too far, this entire trip just let them be them. We have never camped before, and this little trip proved that we need to do it a lot more when we eventually return to North Georgia! If our kiddos can sleep in a tent on the beach in Liberia where it got a little steamy at times, they can sleep anywhere!
This week we have begun documenting kiddos at Montserrado One. It is very close in proximity to us in the city so that has been helpful for Zach to not have to drive very far. These children, like all of them, are near and dear to our hearts. We cannot wait to share them with you all.
We are going to begin introducing kids for the Best Version Project from the first orphanage, Margibi One. Zach and I would love to have 5 children sponsored for OAL by Easter Sunday! Will you help us? These children lack in every basic need category and with the development of this program these needs can be met. But we need YOU, and we need your family. THEY need you. Please prayerfully consider being a part of something so big. Something life changing for a child or young adult that is an ocean away.
The first child we would LOVE to get sponsored is Little Joe Weager. He is one of the cutest children with the BIGGEST smiles. Joe is 5 years old, but looks more like 3. Both of his parents died instantly in a motor bike accident. Right now, we’re looking for 1 person to sponsor Joe fully for $40 per month (provide him with food and medicine) or 2 people to share his needs for $20 each.
These needs are so critical and necessary for Joe’s well being. Food and medical should be mandatory for every child in the world, but unfortunately that is not the case for Liberia as of now. Fortunately though, God created us all to share some love with Little Joe and his friends. If you would like to sponsor Joe, click here.
We look forward to telling Joe he has a sponsor (with a real name) that has chosen to support him. Thank you guys so much, and never forget, we love you!