Today was just an another ordinary day. We had our morning devotions after breakfast, where we discussed what our reflections have been about ourselves on this trip. Then the builders for the chicken mansion lead by their fearless leader Matt, left early to setup. The arts and crafts team a little later since the children wake up later and they don’t want us to wake them earlier than they need to be awake.
When the arts and crafts team got there, the children slowly trickled in, most wearing their tie-dye t-shirts that we made earlier in the week. We worked on decorating draw string bags for the children to collect prizes at the carnival tomorrow. They seemed to have a good time. The next craft was a piece of paper that told Jesus’ story from birth to resurrection. With help from our translator Zane, we told the story and with each piece of his story we would have them put a sticker or drawing or something next to that part of the story on the piece of paper. They seemed to like it, and had a few theological questions for us. After the finished the bags, they worked on coloring and other small crafts and games.
Another group of us was hard at work all morning weeding the garden all morning, and into the afternoon as well. Our group bought plants for the home, and we were putting the plants in around the home for them.
Lunch was a successful picnic outside without any rain! Yay! (Although there was some rain throughout the day) After lunch we got to celebrate a Latvian Birthday! Our very our Madison Neimer from Mechanisburg Pres. Church turned 19 today. The children’s home, which they hate to be called, so The Latvian Family we are helping hear rumors about this and brought out a cake for her as they sung Happy Birthday in Latvian. Once the cake was blown out, they pulled her in a blanket and everyone–Latvian and American alike gathered round gripping the end of the blanket. Together arm and arm, the Latvians sung her a Latvian lullaby as they rocked her back and forth. After they finished they tossed her up in the air up and down 19 times. They told us that there was a man who turned 75 and they still tossed him in the air 75 times! It was so kind and gracious for them to celebrate her birthday in such a family like manor when they only knew her for three days. Seeing that really made my day and saw how they really think of us as family, and it was so loving and sweet.
After lunch the builders went back to work on their chicken mansion and the children worked on scrapbooking, or more like putting stickers in a book with a name of a family member on each page. It was very touching and very cute. They spent over an hour working on these books too. These children have very short attention spans and it was encouraging to see them stick with it so long too.
The hardworking builders stayed late, and almost were late to dinner tonight because they were so determined to finish the whole project today. 😛 That didn’t quite happen. They did however finish the back wall entirely and almost both side walls. They are up to about six blocks high on the side walls, full height is seven blocks high. The front wall was even started. The hardest part is to come tomorrow, but they did an amazing job today.
Dinner with chicken on a stick. Probably one of the only meals that my Dad would eat–picky eaters heaven, along with salad. Dessert was traditional Latvian birthday cake and ice cream for Madison’s birthday. She received some gifts from the group, and got to open them.
After dinner they all loved me, because I followed them around asking them to film them for a special video for all of you. They probably all hate me now and will come back home and tell you about this crazy girl named Lynn who followed them around with a camera. They were mostly all very friendly and obliging. The rest enjoyed an evening off, and got to relax and chat with each other or plan for tomorrows activities.
Some of our group woke up sick again today and stayed behind. Most all of us are fighting coughs, sore throats and runny noses, so prayers please as we hopefully heal before we get on the plane for 8 hrs. Thank you for your love, prayers and support. We look forward to seeing you in three days as much as we hate saying goodbye here.