If Wednesday was Color and yesterday was Faces… Today was Abrazos y Besos (hugs and kisses)!!
The kids have been just drinking us up since the beginning but today was just the explosion of love now that they are truly comfortable with us and we have reinforced our love by returning a second day. The hugged hello, hugged adios, and hugged just to hug. Kisses on the cheek from the bravest and I said “te amo,” as many times as I could. And I got it back too. Little Jennifer Nicole – a six year old charmer – gave me a big hug and I lifted her up and whispered “te amo” in her ear. She squealed back, “I love you also so, so much!” And Karina… One of the young teenage girls. She drew my heart immediately with her sweet beauty and shy, quiet, attentive smile. She’s hung back a bit, but always participating if a bit tentatively. By the end of vbs today she warmed up to ask me to take her photo and told me about her cousin who had come also. Then right as we were leaving for the day, she tapped my shoulder and said, “I love you,” in English as she made a heart sign with her hands over her heart. It chokes me up just to write it.
Unfortunately our plans have changed a little. We were supposed to spend one day at the beach to unwind and process all we have seen and heard. Unfortunately though the whole village it seems like will be gone for most of the day on Sunday. They do have a night church service but it is not safe for us to be at the village after dark. So we are leaving for the beach a day early. I’m sure it will be quite enjoyable but I would so much rather stay in Cebu and I think everyone would agree. I don’t say that with pride to show you what a saint I am. I say it to God’s glory. He has laced my heart irrevocably to the village of Cebu. My mind is just beginning to roll around a vision for the future. Pray for us as we build this long term partnership.
So tomorrow is the last day in Cebu. Pray that our message will be not “adios” but “hasta la vista.”
Abrazos y besos,