Today even as I type this I recognise so many things have changed in the last year. First of many is that I'm sitting on my couch in Sierra Leone wearing a long sleeve shirt.... BY CHOICE!
In all seriousness, we have seen an overflow of the Lord's goodness this last year co-existing with some of the most difficult moments. I've come to learn that in the midst of the ugly difficulties life brings we see the goodness of the Lord shine through the most.
We came to Sierra Leone not exactly knowing what we would be doing. Charles came to assist some of our local staff in starting The Roots Project. The Roots Project began as an idea to create a domestic adoption program within the country of Sierra Leone. Throughout the beginning couple of months Charles' research led him to believe, even if a domestic adoption program would be possible one day there was still a group of kids that wouldn't be served. That group is becoming more widely known as "aged-out" youth. Kids ages sixteen and up are no longer eligible for adoption. Charles and the management staff here have created another facet of the Roots Project. The Roots Project will now include a transitional home for up to eight kids, as well as skills and educational opportunities for the kids. If you'd like more information about the Roots Project please email Charles at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since the slight change in mission our time has looked different too, we've spent a lot of time with the older kids, hearing their stories, listening to their dreams and talking to them about plans for their future. Its been deeply rewarding to get know these kids. Their stories display the ugliness of sin and deep reach of Christ's love in the midst of it all. I can't tell you how the Lord has grown our faith through their joy. We know if nothing else our time spent building these relationships has been worth all the energy and resources.
I (Ally) have also taken over a role inside of The Raining Season, as the travel coordinator. This again was something not on our radar but we've seen the Lord provide through it in many ways. We've had the opportunity to host and share life with all the travelers who visit The Covering. It's been a privilege to introduce many people to our world and life in Salone.
Our last year has been full to the brim. We've hosted eight mission teams, helped rent and furnish a large home to begin the transitional home and continue to build relationships with our friends and neighbours. Life looks really different from when we first moved here and that in and of itself is bittersweet. We're so grateful for all the people who gave to us, our church who visited us, and those who have joined this journey with us.
In just a few weeks we will be welcoming six kids into the transitional home where we will serve as house parents. We are so excited (and a little nervous) to see what the year will hold and how the Lord will continue to teach us more about Himself in the midst of the parenting story we are about to begin.
If you are looking for ways to help please visit our 'Take Action' page. We are attempting to raise $35,000 for the coming year. This total includes: Charles' salary, flights to the States for the holidays, and airfare for a respite trip this spring. We are so thankful for how the Lord has already surpassed all our expectations and we are starting off the year with $12,600. Last year the Lord really grew our faith by His presence showing up in our effort to raise funds. We have seen the Lord provide through you all and want to open up the opportunity to join us in our work in Sierra Leone again this year.
If you so feel led to donate to us please do so HERE.We are so thankful for each of you and how you've all played apart in our story.