There are times in your life when doors open for you and you don't realize it because you aren't paying attention. Other times they open and you just ignore it because it is different, and different scares us sometimes. The fear of the unknown can really freeze you and turn you away from an otherwise awesome and life-changing opportunity.
Several months ago I was given the opportunity to agree to making the long trip to Cameroon to check on the orphanage and see how things were going. I agreed and began the process of preparing. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I went through lots of peaks and valleys in the months prior to leaving my family for twelve days. I stopped watching the tv news and quit reading the news websites because it downright scared me to go because of all that is going on in the world. When I did that, things got better. Until someone would ask me if I heard about what happened in Nigeria, etc. Then the emotional roller coaster would start all over again. It was kind of like riding "The Great American Scream Machine"; constantly going up and down, up and down. Any way, the time came for me to purchase my plane tickets. Whoa!, I thought to myself. This is getting real. I knew once I booked that ticket, there would be no turning back.
I say all this to say, I feel silly for worrying the way I did after having now gone and enjoyed myself. I feel I had legitimate concerns, but I left God out of the equation. I didn't surrender myself to Him and allow Him to work in my life. I know now what I didn't know then, and that is the fact that Wotutu is a place of warmth, love, and compassion on a scale I haven't really ever seen before. I have been forever changed because of the people who are now in my life, which was a direct result of me getting on the plane. The children of Brightland Christian Orphanage are the most blessed group of little ones I know. To know now about what and where they came from only strengthens my faith and love for God. Elangwe mentioned many times while I was there how blessed these children are. He would say, "Praise God!". These children are orphans through no fault of their own, but God has seen fit for them to be in BCO in this place and time. Through the love and generosity of some already, these children have already made a huge change for the better both physically and spiritually. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, the Hillsboro congregation, Elangwe and Magdalene, and the children and staff of BCO. Here are some pictures from my trip. I will gather more in a gallery where you can see much more from my trip.
Georgette, Gustav, Simplis, and Job
Beneficient, Prestige, Elizabeth, and Ladyson
Ladyson, Georgette, and Elizabeth writing their letters and numbers in their new writing tablets.
Daddy Ballard with the children, Theresia, Emmah Grace, and Ruth
Learning letters and numbers
They loved their new toys and play things. Who knew beach balls, balloons, and regular balloons were so fun.
My first time seeing the children before worship the first Sunday I was there.