Let's see here, where to begin today's dumping of information and processing of memories.
The afternoon we arrived the children put on a wonderful program for us. It was filled with music and dancing. They put so much effort and heart into it. One of the things I learned while in Bangladesh is the variety of worship that one can have for the Lord. They are much more free in their worship than I think I ever will feel comfortable doing- which is sad! They love, I mean LOVE to dance. And each movement means something. They use dance for everything. I also loved hearing them sing in their native tongue. I couldn't understand it- but they sang so joyfully. One of the things that moved me most was to see the older boys 15-17 years of age clapping so enthusastically with the singing. You would be hard pressed to find boys of that age here in the states worship as freely and ethusiastically as these boys did. They also weren't afraid to look silly and did the motions right along with everyone else. It was refreshing. One of the most powerful moments of worship was their prayer time. First, whenever a child in the home has a birthday- they stand up and of course get sung to. But then, they all stop and pray for that child's sponsor or future sponsor. I thought that was so generous and selfless and gracious. Secondly, these children often participate in corporate prayer- something I rarely see in the States, and usually don't like doing myself. While one person led prayer from the pulpit, all of the children began speaking their own prayers to themselves. It was hundreds of voices all speaking to God at once! Seriously getting chills just thinking about it. I imagine that is just a snippet of what God hears- to hear all of our prayers at once. It was such a cool moment.
One of the reasons for traveling at the time we did was to attend Shamoyli and Liton's wedding. Both had been children in the home. She now works as the medical clinic's parmacist and he works at a local garmet plant I believe. Anyways, Shamoyli was Paul's Grandparent's sponsor child. So we travelled on their behalf to attend the wedding. It was a cool experience. The evening before they have a large pre-ceremony that is nicknamed "yellow party" or something like that. The bridge dresses in red and yellow and the groom in yellow. Everyone takes turns painting the bride and groom with this yellow paste of crushed spices. Yellow is considered beauiful or something like that. Then after you painted a portion of their face and arm, you fed them something to eat off of the toothpick in front of you. Couldn't understand most of this celebration as it was all in Bangla, but you get the idea.
The children then broke out into dancing and singing as the celebration drew to a close.
The actually wedding was long and boring- but it was also in Bangla. Similar to a western wedding in some ways, and in other ways not. They exhanged rings and these garland necklace things. Instead of kissing they do a unity candle of sorts. PDA is not really welcomed in the culture, even between married couples! The bride and groom rarely smiled the whole day- I think they were just shy though. The wedding feast was rice, dahl, and curry chicken (staples of the country) and rice pudding for dessert (also a staple, from English tradition).
Speaking of English tradition- we had tea time twice a day. Bangladesh was governed by England up until the 1970's I believe, so they have kept a lot of the English customs. I for one loved tea time and the little tea biscuits. What a great tradition!
The children at the home captured my heart. I will never forget them. So many faces, so many names I cannot recall. Each one has a story. I wish I knew enough Bangla to hear each one.
Victor is the youngest occupant at the moment- and he has quite the little story for being so young. His mother abandoned him on the side of the road at 6 days old. Another lady walked by and rescued him. She cared for him as her own son as much as she could, until just a couple months ago when she could no longer afford him- so she brought him to David. Victor has melted the hearts of everyone- how could he not with those eyes huh? I believe he is now 4 or 5 years old. What potential this boy now has. He has a great home, a great school, and is hearing the gospel every day. I think Victor could become a great man of God and serve his dark country one day- don't you?
One of my favorite memories of the week was taking 5 of the girls to the Dorcas Dress Shop (more on that later) to have them fitted and measured for custom new Shalwar Kamiz's purchased for them by their sponsors. It was so sweet to see them pick out their own fabric and get measured for them. Moni didn't get hers until the last day- so I couldn't get a picture- but it was her first Shalwar Kamiz as she only had little dresses before. She picked out 'lal' aka red becuase it is her favorite color. For only $10 or so, they get a custom new outfit in about a day and a half. I enjoyed mine as well- it was a gift from David. Shalwar Kamiz's are super comfoy. They are an elastic waist pant with basically a super long T-shirt/dress over it and then a shawl thing you can where multiple ways. They always have the prettiest patterns and colors too!