What an eventful day! We once again found ourselves serving the residents of Westhaven. There was still the crazy excited reception not unlike the concept of the movie 50 First Dates, because the residents acted as if they hadn’t ever seen us!
The students’ day saw spending some one on one time with any number of the residents, both ambulatory and non-ambulatory.
Our teaching team did such a wonderful job yesterday that the staff asked that they move outside to accommodate a larger group, they did, and it was a larger group.
The craft team also hit another home run! There was a fantastic amount of participation with the projects they had planned and invested personal pre-trip time and money for purchase and preparation.
For many of the wheelchair and bed or crib bound residents, both students and staff from our group met them where they were, literally, cradled them, walked them outside, sang to and prayed over them.
It is never easy to say goodbye to a place where you were once terrified to get off the bus, to giving and receiving appropriate hugs of true affection and friendship. As the doors of the busses closed on what has been our hottest day yet, there were those that struggled to hide their emotions and opted for a more honest approach and simply cried.
As we debriefed tonight a one word description of our multiple days at Westhaven was asked for. We received a plethora of responses ranging from “awkward”, “hopeless”, “sadness” to “joyous”, and “eye-opening”.
I mentioned tonight that the saddest thing that could happen at the end of this trip would be to return home unchanged. Our experiences here were not meant to be an event, but rather to facilitate a lifestyle of service to God.
There was a glimmer of hope for at least one who is on his way to being adopted from Westhaven, and yet there are very few assurances, even as he gazes into the distance wondering with his precious simplicity.
One among us also started, and completed an adoption process tonight. A LCS student was adopted into God’s family! When this was announced a joyous shout went up to heaven, and a very angry ministry facilitator came out and told me that we had to keep it down because there were other guests. I immediately smelled my arm...just as I thought, chopped liver! My response, “Someone just received Christ, they can relax!”
This friends, may in fact be that anticipated “unspeakable” action of God Jeremiah spoke to in 33:3!