Things I don’t want to forget:
One night Nathaniel woke up to find a bat in our room flying above our heads as we slept!!! He went to the front desk and brought the hotel clerk back to the room, when the hotel clerk caught sight of the bat he quickly handed Nathaniel a broom and hid behind Nathaniel! After much commotion Nathaniel finally shooed it out.
At Copprome one afternoon Jack stepped in a red ant hole. Within seconds the tiny ants had covered his feet and were biting the fire out of him. Jack came sprinting to me (because, of course, Nathaniel was catching tarantulas at the time) and we got his shoes off and all the ants brushed off but his feet were covered in welts. I was particularly proud of Jack that afternoon for bouncing back from the fire ant attack.
On the day we took the Copprome kids to the local pool it was insanely hot and the pool was even more insanely crowded. It was near impossible to keep straight who were the kids we had come with (it was only our second day there) and who were the kids just at the pool that day from the community. I bonded with two sweet little girls and played for a long time with them, helping them float, catching them as they jumped in the water to me, etc… Only to find out they weren’t from Copprome at all- their mother’s came and got them and said “time to go home.” I am sure they were thinking, “thank you to that strange woman from the US who entertained my children all afternoon.” Boy did I feel silly!
Every night at bedtime Nathaniel, Jack and I spoke affirmations over one another and then prayed. It was one of the sweetest memories of the trip for me. We could feel Jack glow as we pulled out and highlighted all the ways we had seen him “rise to the challenge” that day. It also was equally important for him to find things he was proud of in Nathaniel & I and to articulate them, it turned into a powerful bedtime ritual. Jack also (unprompted) kept a daily journal with writing and pictures of his experiences.
On the last day as we left the village Jack asked me if he could give his shoes away to a boy who didn’t have any. I fought back tears as I realized he is “getting it.” While I know I am messing up as a parent over & over again, this was a confirmation to me that we knew God had nudged Nathaniel & I to take Jack on his first trip like this, and how we chose to be obedient regardless of the cost (monetary and otherwise), and how HE was doing a good work in and through Jack in this adventure. To God Alone Be The Glory!