Emmanuel’s small orphanage outside of Delhi is home to 2 geese (one who I chased, and paid me back by pooping in my room), 2 ugly dogs, 1 cook (named Cookie), 1 driver, a bunny, 3 other staff and about 80 of the cutest kids you’ll ever see.
From the moment we arrived, the children greeted us at the our cars with shouts of “Auntie! Auntie!” “Uncle!” They came up, shook our hands and told us their names. Some of them wanted to talk, some of them wanted to play, but mostly they just wanted to touch me, sit on me, and play with my amazing blonde arm hair.
Their life is pretty simple. They pray three times a day, go to school, and play when they’re not too hot. We were there for their summer break, so, after our first day of being sat on and kicking futbols, I got a little worried about what we would do with ourselves. Here’s five of my highlights:
- Learning new songs. “Telephone to Jesus, everyday! Hello?” “Jesus is the Winner-man, Satan is the loser-man”
- Learning Cricket. It’s like baseball, only you wear a football helmet, hockey gloves, and it’s good when the ball hits the ground.
- Pizza Hut. Despite the fact they eat rice three meals a day, 7 days a week, the kids don’t complain much. My friend Kim visited here last year, and paid for the children to go eat Pizza. They piled into two cars (all 80) and sat perfectly quiet as they ate their vegetarian personal pan pizzas. The drinks, each with two pieces of ice were a little too cold for them.
- Preaching. I got many chances to teach the kids. Mainly they were spur of the moment (you will teach Sunday school that is starting now?) skits based on Bible stories. But my favorite was Sunday church, where I shared a lesson about Ezekiels Dry Bones, and my hopes for India. I’ll share the notes some other post.
- THE WATERPARK. Our budget provides for little more than the money to travel and eat peanut butter. But when we first got here, we heard about a local waterpark. One of my teammates, Kara, posted on her blog and asked for donations. In three days her readers gave $500 to help these children have a once in a lifetime experience.
Now it’s no Schlitterbahn, but we had a good time. I spent most of our 8 hour day in the wave pool, picking up and throwing children. There were a few good rides (heights are fun and scary in any country), and a dance contest. We had a great Indian lunch, ice cream, and the children played until they were exhausted. When we got back, Cookie remarked to me “Never in our lives did we imagine the children would have so much fun.
This leg of the trip has been difficult. The heat, and the sheer amount of free time have worn me out. But I can’t help but remember Jesus’ words “let the children come to me.” And I think that if he would have been here in India, he would have said “let the children come to the waterpark.”