s o u t h a f r i c a
On Saturday, September 6, 2014, over 500 boys and girls were crowned as kings and queens; this all happened right at the Ten Thousand Homes base. Children from three communities, Mbonisweni, Kabokweni, and Dwaleni, were bussed in for a day of royal treatment. It was a truly humbling experience to take the seemingly most unimportant people in the world- children- and treat them as the exact opposite. The goal of this day was to let these beautiful kids know that they are royal children of God who are loved unconditionally. The week before was filled with prepping: decorating, setting up game stations, getting food for over 500 people, putting up striped tape to eliminate wandering kids, and so much more. During the day we had bounce houses, a movie station, crafts, and music among many other things. My job for the day was face painting. I got to hold each child's face in the palm of my hand as I painted. It was a truly amazing thing to be a part of. Many of these kids crave love and attention so much that when you touch them, they immediately calm down. Very often the little ones will instantly fall asleep if you hold them. Some of them would even tense up as I looked them in the eye and asked them what they wanted. This was because they never before had had so much personal attention, so much choice. It was a very empowering thing to be a part of. I think many of these kids will always have this day etched into their memory.
This same week was also my first art project on the base. I had the awesome opportunity to paint my first mural, with the help of a couple of wonderful people! This painting of an African-style castle was the backdrop for our photo-booth area. Each child that came got to dress up and have his own individual photo taken! After the day we got to give each child his own picture as a reminder of the love that we have for these kids, but most importantly the unfailing love their Father has for them.