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what a DAY!


Yesterday was one of the greatest days I've had in a while - and mind you, the past few weeks things have been really good.

The family that I am staying with has a cabin on Hayden Lake in Idaho and yesterday we all went up for some fun on the water. It is so interesting to watch these girls come out of their shells - to see them interact in a different environment, away from the rest of the choir, with new people, new surroundings, and new things - like tubing. yes. It was fantastic.

I had with me Priscilla, Eunice, and Deborah, and throughout the course of the day there were transformations in Eunice & Priscilla - especially Eunice. Let me give a little breakdown on their personalities:

Deborah: Fearless. This girl would jump from a plane if you told her it was fun. She's awesome.

Priscilla: The youngest of the three - often plays the "I'm so adorable" card - and she is so adorable. A little shy, though I think it's part of the cute card :)

Eunice: Strong, but timid. If that makes sense? haha. Hesitant. Kind. Lovely.

So we began the day at the lake. The girls had life jackets on, Priscilla was content to stay on the dock, Deborah was in the water before we knew it, and Eunice stood on the edge of the dock fearful that her life jacket would sink. With some coaxing, she and Priscilla slowly climbed down the ladder into the water and began swimming around like four-legged octopuses, not sure of what to do with their arms and feet. Deborah, the confident dare devil, was giving swimming lessons to the other two, convincing them that their life jackets were indeed always going to float, to kick with their legs, and paddle with their arms. Her confidence leaked onto them like oil leaks out of my car onto the driveway. By the end of the day the three of them had jumped off the dock, swam for so long their lips turned blue, gone on a boat, went tubing, and got thrown off the tube - to which they laughed and screamed and cried "again! again!" (we thought they'd freak. As soon as we watched them flip I stood on the side of the boat frantically ready to dive in after them, not that I thought they'd be hurt, but because I thought they'd be freaked... they weren't, they loved it). SO.... yeah. We had a blast.

Here are some pics from the day.

Priscilla on the boat.
Eunice on the boat.
Deborah on the boat.
Deb & Eunice tubing it up!
Deb & I on the tube!



On Thursday, the 23 beautiful children of the 35th African Children's Choir arrived in Seattle - exhausted but sooooo excited! The first day we went to a park and Arby's for some chicken nuggets and french fries (which they may or may not remember, they were sooo tired!). Then we came to camp for some training, rehearsals and fun before we start the concerts. It's been awesome so far!

Here are a few pictures from this week!

the prayers of children


This weekend I was commissioned by my church. During the service I was invited forward and the congregation came and surrounded me, lifting me up in prayer and lifting up the Choir. This by nature is a very special time - but what made it simply wonderful this morning was the three first-grade girls that came and took my hands, bowed their heads and prayed for me amidst the sea of adults. I loved it. Last night (my church has a Saturday night service as well) another girl came and stood on the step behind me during the prayer. After service she came and talked to me and asked TONS of questions about the kids - like are they being taken care of, do they have clean water (I asked, she is only seven) and are they safe. I answered her questions then she indicated that she wanted to whisper something in my ear. I leaned down and she said "I was the one that put my hand on your head during the prayer, and your hair is really soft." I smiled and laughed and said "That's because I washed it today." She didn't know what to say... She was so cute though, I'm so thankful that I have prayers like hers - prayers lifted through the faith of a child - supporting me while I travel this upcoming year.