Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Swimming at the river

Today the boys and the team went up the coast about an hour for a day at one the Lebanese rivers. I am not sure who was welcoming the break in the routine more, the boys or the team.
The banks were shaded and several Lebanese families were picnicking and swimming as well. When one of the families heard us referring to Brent and Ruth as newlyweds they brought some of the food they had prepared for their own lunch over to honor them.
The older boys were allowed to go upriver to a deeper swimming hole where they slowly worked up the courage and daring each other to jump off the rocks into the cold mountain water. The younger boys stayed in the shallow area and were soon moving rocks around to make a dam across the river. Boys will be boys no matter where they are.
After supper we spent the evening with the boys in their apartments. They do so love having us come and visit them. I think they were tired from the days activities as there was not the playing that there has been on earlier nights, tonight they were content to sit and watch videos.
After we said goodnight to the boys the team went down to Sarah and Jeremy Boucher's apartment and played games. They are making the adjustments to being here in Lebanon and at the orphanage. Thad is learning to play soccer and wanting to be with all the boys.
Tomorrow we will be working with the boys on their school work and them plan to go to the swimming pool with them. Then we will need to pack and depart here about 10 in the evening.
It has been a good trip. It has been good to see our Calvary people and staff interacting with the boys. All of them are asking will you come back next year? Just the fact that we returned this year has made an impression on the boys and staff here. How the boys and their stories have impacted each one of us remains to be seen. It will take some time and distance to process all the team has been exposed to, a different culture, a different language, stories of boys backgrounds that sound radically different from neighborhood children-but really could be about any one of them. 
We have not resolved any of the boys difficulties or home situations. We have tried to show them they are loved because God loves them. Between the schoolwork, devotionals, testimonies and play we have sown seeds. How the seeds grow and the fruit they produce is still out in the future for these boys but for us, the team Calvary send, the seeds are growing, changing us. For one thing, the Christ we thought we were bringing from 18th and Bosque has been here all along.
~Tim Smith

The team eating breakfast with the office staff at the orphanage.
 Walking to the river.

 Enjoying swimming in the river.

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