Friday, August 28, 2009

Letters across the ocean....

I wish I could describe to you the joy I experienced last weekend during the two hours I spent with Prava. I went down to Virginia for the weekend; part of the reason was because Prava is doing another year of the COTW tour as a chaperone, and I knew she was in VA. She has been working with the new kids for the past month of "training camp"--teaching them the songs, dance motions, etc.

Early Saturday morning, I walked into the church where the staff/kids are staying....the same church where I spent a week in June with my Central team staff/kids. What an eerie, sad feeling to walk into the room and see little cots set up just the way it was in June. Except this time, the little bodies stirring in their beds were not children named Zurufah, Suresh, Martin, etc....this time, I looked into the faces of beautiful children. Yet they were unrecognizable. I had to remind myself that my kids are across the ocean, back in their children's homes....that was tough, and I'll admit that I blinked back tears (the memories flooded every part of me.)

The moment I saw Prava, she leaped up, and we nearly squeezed the life out of each other!! What a blessing to spend the morning with my Nepali "sister"--she is so wonderful and has such a servant's heart. I know God will give her the energy and stamina for another year of touring....and I think He is adding jewels to her heavenly treasure each day ;)

Of course we talked 13843 miles a minute! First thing's first--"how are the Nepali children??" [She spent a month back home in Nepal this summer.] Yeshoda is adjusting well to her new children's home and has some older girls looking after her, like sisters! Suresh has started school and is doing well. Neha is growing up still and has started school as well (and she's an auntie now!! Their sister had a baby.)

Prava slipped something into my heart skipped a beat as I looked down at two envelopes labeled "Auntie Ashley." Letters from Neha and Suresh!! I am so grateful to Prava for delivering this mail to me.....these letters alone are worth the 700 miles I drove last weekend!

I hope you enjoy the creative touches I added to these notes. Notice the adorable word usage and phrasing....and cute hand-writing! I don't deserve their kind words....I wish they knew how they've impacted my life forever. In heaven, I will remind them.

[Click to see full-size picture.]
Excerpt from Neha's letter:
"I always pray for you that you will get nice boyfriends [haha! hey, it can't hurt]....we've had fun memories together. When we played laser tag....I miss your hug and kisses so much."

Excerpt form Suresh's letter:
"I can't forget the love that you gave me. Thank you for taking [me] to the six flags and water park....You have taken [me] to the ocean too. It was the first and last that I have ever visited the ocean in my life...I always remember you in my personal prayers...Your loving child, Mr. Suresh Tamang."


Marc & Amy said...

That is precious and those letters are priceless. What a reward for your labors- I know that had to be so emotional to get them. And what an amazing impact you had on them! So sweet!

Anonymous said...

you're gonna make me cry...I still can't fathom how you're dealing with them being gone...after only two days I feel like they stole my heart. Those letters are precious and you ARE deserving of every word. I love the photos, too :) I can't imagine how wonderful it was to see Prava and get those letters handed to you.

ps it's Chels :)

Teena said...

Ashley, you do not know me ... my name is Teena. We met the "unrecognizable" kids that you looked at and longed for your kids. We met them in Oct. 2009 at our church. We met Prava too. They stole our heart (my daughter Alyssa and I) and we have never been the same. We "followed" them. We would drive for 3, 4, 6 hrs to surprise them. We brought candy... letters... we didn't want them to forget us ..and we knew we would never forget them! We know their names. We know Josh. Josh took letters to all the Ugandan kids... Jamira was our sponsored child.

Praying for you. I loved reading your blog. I am now a Compassion Advocate. We keep in touch with Prava... Josh... Joy...

Just last week we went to see the choir. We took two little girls with us that had never seen them. Alyssa and I watched as their songs are different now... we thought of "our kids." We met Rina... a Nepali chaperone. She knows Prava and the Nepali children.

wow this is way to long.

Thanks again for sharing.

hey have you read the book Kisses from Katie? Katie Davis story is amazing.