Continuing to bloom and Day 1 of World Vision visitations…

November 6, 2015
We are absolutely amazed at Mohale.  Daily he is blooming.  The wide eyed silent little boy is now waking up in the morning laughing, babbling, saying DADA! and playing in his crib.  For the first week he’d lay silent and unmoving any time he was in his crib.  Mohale is a laughing boy!  He laughs, giggles and reaches out for us all day long.  LOVING him.

This morning they awoke and began laughing and playing…
Last night was the first night EVER that Joseph slept in a crib.  We’ve tried for months to help him sleep in a crib.  He just needed Mohale:)
Yesterday we spent most of our time (8 hours) in a large World Vision van.  The World Vision team took us to a distant rural village to meet our precious 13 year old sponsored daughter.  Her home is simple and bright…  
Our sponsored 14 year old girl lives with her parents, older sister and two little brothers in this bright and cheerful home about the size of a backyard shed in an American middle class home.  
They poured out gifts of song and prayers over our family and thanked us profusely for sponsoring their daughters education- (only $30 per month.)  Our entire family felt uncomfortable and humbled.  They don’t understand that they are the strong ones- they are the ones He upon whom special honor is bestowed.  It is easy to be a giver- yet what challenge it is to have faith like theirs- praying for provision of their most basic needs..  It felt like an undeserved gift to be sitting in their home.   
Our hearts were saddened to learn that the reason she was home today was because they could not afford the fees to put her into school this year.  The funds had not reached the World Vision office in time.  Fortunately she’s enrolled for next spring.  
We take so much for granite.  
Here are some more pics:
Next door neighbor’s home
World Vision staff in the black pants talking with neighbors.
Getting to know each other
They prepared this flavorful meal of corn, a vegetable and chicken for us.
Leaving was difficult
What stood out to me about this family- especially these two teen girls- was their joy and generosity.  They were filled with laughter and their hearts seemed so free.  Oh what an HONOR to be around people like this.  Faith, Joy, Freedom.
*******
Next we went two hours further into the mountains on RUGGED roads (trails?)  I wanted to hide under the van seats.  The village we entered felt like something out of a fairytale.  Never could I have imagined such a beautiful village.  The homes are mostly round and made of natural colored stones with straw roofs.  
There seemed to be about 50 homes spread across this green mountain slope- each manicured and gorgeous.  Chickens, donkeys and sheep meandered around and in between the thatch roof homes and rugged stick fencing.  I wanted to stay.  The village chief honored us with a prayer and the entire village of people broke out in song. 
 Here is our sponsored child with her grandma:
With our children.  (Not sure what Liam is doing with his face…)
As our visit drew to an end, our sponsored girl was clearly sad and distant.  We were not able to understand the language nor even the translation as to why.  But we gathered that they had wanted us to stay longer.  Oh how we wanted to.  Driving away felt bittersweet- we’d been gifted with new friendships that we felt undeserving of, but it was hard to leave when our beautiful sponsored teen seemed hurt by us leaving.  
Praying for the right words as we correspond through letters in the year to come.  
Today our World Vision reps pick us up at 8:30 am to take us to our sponsored 12 year old son’s village.  I’ll post on the later. 
Yesterday as we spent about 8 hours in a van, our family was delighted to hear and watch Joseph and Mohale play together.  I wish I could post video.  Here are some poor pics, but maybe you can get the picture.  They were egging each other on the screech and laugh and through their snacks.  When Mohale slept, Joseph would call his name “HAW LAY!!!” to awaken him.  Each time Joseph slept, Mohale would laugh and touch Josjpehs arm… They are beginning a very special relationship as brothers.  
Continually we are amazed at the beauty of the Sesotho people and the scenery in which they live.  Here are some pics taken from our van window…
It seemed we so far from where people could be, but this mom and her friends were beside the rugged dirt path and started taking pics of us!  She was delighted to let me take a pic of her.  
Even children carry water from afar for their family and animals.
Blurry pic- but the umbrella is happy!  Women here protect their skin from the sun.
Umbrellas are just what they do- rain or sun.
It’s endearing how Sesotho women carry their babies around on their backs.

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