138 Dirksen Drive, DeBary, FL US 32713
I woke up this morning knowing that we would be saying goodbye to the kids, but it wasn’t something I wanted to do. As I walked down to breakfast, it hit me that these kids were leaving. I saw them bring their things from the cabins to the main area and it started to sink in that we would be saying goodbye.
When the kids stood outside the buses, I began to get emotional. I didn’t want the kids to return to where they were from. I couldn’t bear to see them leave this safe place. I hugged kids, cried for them, and prayed for them. As they left, I sat on the steps and process through things. I watched the buses with the kids on them and asked the Lord why. Why did they have to leave? He reminded me that He has plans for them - that they wouldn’t be alone.
Echoing was the thoughts of Emily watching the children who I had become so close to was one of the hardest things I’ve had to. Two girls clung to me and all three of us were crying. We just stood there for a good 5 minutes not speaking but we all were thinking the same thing, we didn’t want to let go. I was afraid I would never see these sweet girls smiles again, that they would never braid my hair, and that I would never hug them again.
I got to know on of my dad’s boys imparticular he was one of the kids that wasn’t the most well behaved but throughout the week he opened up more and more and by the end of the week we were doing handshakes and everytime he saw me he gave me a tight hug. He became like a brother to me and like a son to my dad. Through God I know that we will always have that special bond together.
Seeing where these children come from is heartbreaking and sending them back is even harder, knowing that after this week no one will be encouraging them in Christ, and no one will be there to give them a big hug. But I am praying that God will give them peace, joy, friendship, courage to be bold for him, and most of all be a loving and forgiving father.
Although it’s difficult even to think of half of the stuff that is happening where they live, it is ten times more comforting that the creating of the universe has those kids in safely in his hands.
Leaving such and amazing place is so hard but I am constantly praying for what God has next for me down here and what He can do through me to make a difference. This trip has changed my whole perspective on life and I cannot wait to see what God has in store for me.