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  • Writer's pictureKaren Ecklund

Preparations . . .

Today was spent making preparations for our three day camp with the Keyara's Gift students and their parents. In the US we planned, purchased and packed crafts, books, soccer balls, medications, flashlights and glow sticks all with the idea of bringing joy and hope to these children.

Storybook Bibles - Stamped and Ready!

I started the day leading our team in a devotional story reading from the Jesus Storybook Bible. We brought 60 of them with a total weight of nearly 100 lbs of books and it's what we'll be using as the basis for our teachings this week. I LOVE this children's bible because it explains the Bible in its entirety in a simple and easy to read format. The staff was very excited about the simplicity and message and has decided to continue using it throughout the year. They really think it will help the children to understand what the Bible is all about and the fact that God loves them!

Kaleb applies just the right touch on the stamp!

Getting the assembly line going...

Making sure the ink is dry on this humid day!

Sixty Storybook Bibles, ready for distribution!

After imparting our vision for the three days of camp, the staff helped adjust and formalize the plans. Working in a different culture is always challenging - we look at the world through different lenses. Part of yesterday was spent trying to understand the best ways to communicate with the students. We have had great dialogue and all learned new ways, styles and approaches and hopefully as a team we will communicate clearly by using several different styles!

Kaitlyn and Kaleb working with the staff on craft supplies

My biggest highlight today was the opportunity to work together as a family with the caseworkers and get to know them better. I was so proud of our kids. They continue to be engaged, excited, non-complaining and focused on the tasks at hand. I say all of this with great joy and a bit of surprise because I really didn't know what it would be like for them. I really worried that they may feel shy, reserved, complain about no wifi and a host of other things that happen when you're jet lagged and away from the comforts of home! For those of you praying, thank you! I believe this is evidence of God hearing the cries of my heart and prayers for our time in Liberia. Unity in Africa is hard and I pray that we continue to be united as a family and team in the days to come!

Putting letter beads in baggies... such fun!

Smiles all around!

Father-Daughter team!

More team building!

If you ask Keyara what her highlight was, she'll tell you playing at the beach by our house. And I must admit it was the cherry on top! Being by the ocean soothes my soul and takes me to a very happy place. It was the perfect way to end the day before dinner, showers and time again as a family to debrief the day and plan for tomorrow! I'm already feeling like the days are flying by and I already know it is going to be VERY hard to leave . . .

Beautiful sunset @ ELWA

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