Wednesday, May 08, 2013

beautiful messes

Vicheka talked to me for what might just have been the very first time today.

"Johm Riap Sua Mom!"

She is 3 1/2. We've known her for almost three years now. For the past several months her grandparents have been telling us how much she talks, how excited she is when she knows we're coming, how she asks when she'll be able to begin going to school. Once we get there though her face goes blank without even a hello escaping. Until today. Today she was answering our questions and sharing her sweet smile with us. Laughing at old pictures of her and her brother we gave to them. Saying she really would like to go to school.

Today Vicheka's grandfather was expressing his thanks to us for the ways we've helped over the past few years. Sharing how he doesn't think she would have made it if we had not met them. Sharing how they'd looked at multiple orphanages around them and there was nowhere willing to take Vicheka.

I remember the day we first drove out to meet them. When we arrived that morning Vicheka's mom and grandparents were fully expecting for us to take Vicheka away with us that day. In their struggle they felt like giving her away was the only option left. I am so glad we did not take her that day or any day since then, but that we've been able to walk alongside them through these years.

And sometimes life is messy. Babies still die and people still do bad things that hurt other people, but in the mess that life is I am seeing so many beautiful things these days. Grandparents loving their grandchildren. Moms who yell at their kids on bad days are teaching their little sons how to play games on good days. Families mourning for the loss of one child pulling everything together and choosing to be a family and move forward loving their small children. Families sharing their mangoes with us because even in their poverty they are rich in generosity and that looks like mangoes these days. Young girls choosing to go back to school with more hope for something greater in their futures. And a sweet, sweet Savior who loves them all.

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