“I’m determined to go back . . .” – Aimee
“I want to apply to be an intern there when I’m older . . .” – Amber
“I will continue to support what God wants to do through them . . .” – Kelly
I’ve been accused of living my life through the eyes of Walt Disney (RIP, Gene), and I had this vision that the girls stepped off the bus and children came running to them in droves with open arms. I was surprised to learn that Aimee and Amber didn’t feel as if they were making a difference in these children’s lives until their last day there.
Aimee and Amber have two brothers, so it’s no surprise that out of the 110 children at the orphanage, they bonded with a few teenage boys (it didn’t hurt that the boys developed crushes on them). Nobody paid attention to these boys, and the boys wouldn’t make the first approach. What they didn’t count on was that Aimee and Amber were quite capable of breaking through their shells.
Amber bonded with a boy I’m going to call Oscar. She thought he was much younger than he was because he was so small. During a moment in church while they were singing hymns, she took his hands into hers and clapped them along to the beat of the music. This was only one way she broke the ice with him, who ended up being her age.
Aimee also adored Oscar, but another teen, who I’ll call Dennis, really fell for her. He stared at her, and she admits it made her uncomfortable. He called the girls “blond.” I didn’t understand why; they’re brunettes. When I asked about this, the girls told me blond means “white” in Creole. What Dennis didn’t know was that the girls could dish out the teasing just as well as he could.
“I Don’t Speak Creole, and You Know That’s Not My Name!”
That’s what the girls said to the boys when they called them “Blond,” and sarcasm and joking built a quick relationship, which is what it needed to do considering they only had one day left on the island. For all, goofing off was the easy part; for the boys, the being genuine and learning to trust part was what was hard.
Aimee and Amber believe that everyone bonded because the boys knew the girls were genuine, and as such, they let their guard down, something they never did. In fact, they let their guard down so much, that they cried that night because they thought they’d never see the girls again.
The girls cried, too. They didn’t want to leave their new friends, and promised them they’d come back, but the young men didn’t believe them, which is a sad testimony to the difficulty and loneliness they must feel in their lives.
“You’ve Got Mail”
The beauty of modern technology, however, is that Aimee and Amber can email the boys at the mission, and they do. They have been able to keep in touch with these new friends who touched their lives in ways no one, not even them, could imagine.
When I set out to write this series, I wanted to focus on how this missions trip changed Aimee and Amber’s lives more than the orphans they ministered to, but I realized halfway through, I cannot do this justice. I wasn’t there.
So, for the last installment of this series, I am honored to turn the keyboard over to Amber, who wrote about her experience. I’ll post it next.
Copyright © 2016 by Sharon Platz All Rights Reserved