Part of Speech: noun
Definition: relief, comfort
Synonyms: alleviation, assuagement, cheer, comfort, compassion, ease, easement, encouragement, fellow feeling, help, lenity, pity, solace, succor, support, sympathy
I started with that because we don't use the word Consolation very much. More often we use the verb form "to console. "
Today we spent our first day at the Consolation center girls home.
There are 39 beautiful little girls between the ages of 3 & 14 who live there full time because they have no where else to go.
The surroundings are simple. 8 (I think) shipping containers with doors and 2 - 4 windows each. They are covered by thatch roofs to shade them and make them cooler. 4 are dormitories the rest are showers, staff, and storage.
When we arrived school was in session and many of the 300 children were in opening exercises. These are children who could not afford any other school. In fact many can not afford the $5 per year participants fee, but they are never sent away.
Some children were on the "playground." I went over to see what equipment they had. It was a large dusty field with two talk sticks at one end with a rope between them. 30 or so kids were playing in small groups around the area supervised by an adult. No one ever said "I'm bored" or. "I don't have anything to do." look around you and think about that.
Projects include plowing "the back 4" creating racks on which mosquito netting can hang, putting up eye bolts for mosquito netting, and building a rack on which a solar panel can be mounted at the missionaries house (Les, if you have been following.)
I was putting eye bolts on beds, and recruited me some help. Sabula (sp?) was especially interested and adept at helping. We had a nice time. It made me think of the times I spent with my children working beside me in the garage or yard. It made me think of Noah and how he likes to work beside me especially in the train room. And it made me wonder who else would ever take time to let Sabula do this? Not that she is not loved and cared for, but she is among 39 who are loved and cared for. (hold that thought)
After lunch (at which we met the artist who decorated the shipping containers and had the opportunity to buy art.) Sabula, about 6 other girls and I were talking (Sabula is a very good translator) and another child fell down and scraped her knee. She cried and cried. I finally turned around and realized no one was there for her. She was doing her best, as was the staff, but it made me wonder who would be here for these girls when life serves up more than a skinned knee. All she needed was permission to sit on my lap and have someone acknowledge her pain.
Thank God for people like Les and Katherine and Eddie and Evald and Sasa who dedicate their lives to providing at least the essentials to these girls. Sometimes just the essentials are a full time job. But then again, for many of the people we have seen this week, so is surviving.
I don't mean to say that they are at all deprived. The girls enjoyed "Horton hears a who" tonight for their movie. Tomorrow we take them to the beach. It is a rare journey outside the confines of their little world. Praise God for the opportunity to share that with them.
A shipping container of homes arrives tomorrow also, so I don't know what other opportunities might present themselves. These could very well be the actual homes for which we paid. I'll ask Ken tomorrow when he arrives in country. (there may not be Any way of saying for sure. But it gives us a little different glimpse of the process. )
sent from my s3