And baby makes 49

Tuesday I got a new son! He makes 49 little tykes! He turned 7 months just 2 days after he arrived. He is one stinking cute tot too! He's working on crawling, but he's got the smiling, cooing, giggling thing down pat. Snuggling too! Oh he's just a ham. And i love him! He came to us with an ear infection, scalp infection, skin infection, lung infection, and one bad case of scabies....and when i say bad....i mean head to toe and we're on our 3rd round of treatment and we still aren't rid of them! But we're getting there, and he's getting healthier every day!
His mom died a few months ago, and he's quite a little one for a dad to take care of alone without any food source for him....so we're going to love on him for about a year, till he's a little older and easier for a single dad to take care of! He came in with a witchcraft cord wrapped around his neck.....We prayed over him and then cut the cord off him first thing after he arrived! Stand with us praying for this little tyke to settle in quickly, to grow stronger and healthier each day, for the bonds of witchcraft to be broken, and for generational curses to have no hold on this little one! We are believing God for great things for Francisco! Note the faces of Francisco: top...."look at me i'm cute and pouty, come play with me!" bottom: "see, i really am cute and cuddly. i like to smile too."

In other news...my favorite toddler, Dionisio was returned to the Baby House about 13 months after we took him out to live in the Bercario for a little more one-on-one special attention. It has taken quite the adjustment.....we found out he hates juice and prefers water and will throw his cup and pitch a good little fit if the tias forget and give him juice (silly boy). He was also having a time realizing that he had to share me with ummmm....34 other kids and that sometimes i have to work and can't just sit and play with him. Big adjustment, lots of tears, tantrums, and scowls. But week 3 and he's doing much much better. He hasn't been crying if I'm not holding him. I can play and then leave without huge fits, and if he comes over excitedly squealing and clapping his hands, but i don't have time to play....i can hug him and tell him to go back to the group and we'll play later.....he actually does it and doesn't get upset. i've witnessed him playing with and alongside the other kids and smiling and laughing. small baby steps, but we're getting there! This has been a huge answered prayer. He has come such a long way in a year and looks so grown up! Perhaps that's because he's turning 2 in just 2 months. :)


The other half

I live in Africa.
In a children's center.
With electricity.
And thankfully, since it's over 110 today, with a fan by my bedside that keeps me cool.
There's running water.
It's safe to drink right from my faucet.
I can have hot water (for showers) when we aren't out of gas.
I have a stove to cook food on and even a microwave.
A toaster too.
I have a fridge.
I have a roof over my head, that only leaks a little when it pours.
I have a cement floor.
I have 3 rooms to my "house," including an indoor bathroom.
I share a washing machine.
There's a generator for when the city electricity isn't working.
I have internet (really slow and not all the time, but i have it).
I almost all the time have credit on my cell phone.
I have access to a car for getting where I might need to go.
I am blessed.
I live simply, but richly, compared to the other half.

They live in tiny houses.
With one room.
Smaller than a car.
Made simply out of reeds.
The mice eat the straw roof because it is their home.
It leaks when it rains.
There is no electricity.
No running water.
In fact, there's no water safe to drink for miles.
And there are no cars to go get that water.
And you have to pay for the water.
Only some people have a latrine.
No beds.
Just hard ground.
There's bugs.
Lots of bugs.
Did i mention the mice?

There's not always food.
Only when the harvest is good and there's rain.
The soil is sand.
There's no kitchen.
There's not a stove.
No gas either.
There's fire.
When you can find (or buy) wood.
It takes a long time to cook over a tiny fire.
And it takes a lot of work to prepare the food.
I'm grinding nuts.
By hand.
No chairs to sit on.
No shelter or relief from the sun.

Just candlelight to dine by.
With good friends.
Cause you share the food you have.
Tonight there was actually chicken.
(Cause we bought and brought it to bless them).

And fruit.
Very (very, very) tart, wierd african fruit.
There's no where to store the food.
So we eat it the next morning.
For breakfast.
You eat when you have food.
And there's friends.
We're family.
That's all there is here: LOVE.
Cause sometimes there isn't enough.
And it's not fair.
But it's reality for them.