From the left; Jesika, Sabrina, Aseli, Gabriel and Vicki.
So Gigi knew I made cakes in the US so she asked if I could help make one...let me say this is no easy task!!! I had no real butter, no cake pans, no milk...so the Lord provided a glass pyrex with a box mix and someones Christmas colored icing! HA! It was interesting. I knew in my heart that these kids don't get cake much...they have no electricity, no showers, no kitchen and no mattresses....this cake just needed to be edible! After my muffling with the awesome un-level oven this is the cake and they could truly care less what it looked like! They felt celebrated and it was wonderful.
The atmosphere quickly changed as Gigi's gate opened and a woman came in with an older girl (about 14), a small girl (6) and a little 1 year old. The woman had been there before and Gigi looked to Aaron and I for advice as this woman was bringing the 6 year old girl to leave for good with Gigi.
This is not what you expect at a birthday party.
The woman was the cousin of the older two girls mom. To our knowledge the mom has been in prison for over a year for killing the dad and the girls were there when he died. Then the two older girls were taken by someone and the 6 year old has been treated like a slave (known locally as a restavek). This little girl looked completely hollow. I had no idea what to say to Gigi. She truly had no budget to take her in with school about to start. Gigi had to get up and leave because her emotions took over. This isn't the first time since she arrived that people have come to her gate with children. Aaron and I both asked why the woman isn't going to care for her but only wants to keep the older sister. The woman said her three children were enough for her to manage and the older girl was easier. As we asked details about the parents and the treatment of the two girls I tried to speak to the little girl but nothing I said even made her blink.
Mind you, this whole time the party is going on around us as this woman and her littlest baby are pawning off a 6 year old and keeping the oldest for better help...it was very heavy. They just sat...and sat...for almost 45 minutes. Aaron served them some food, even though he struggled inside with what this woman was doing. We both are learning daily more and more how much we need the love of Jesus to radiate out of our lives here. Eventually I got to the young girl and even though I didn't know how to say much in Creole, I said..."You are loved. Jezi Renmen Ou(Jesus Loves You). You are not abandoned." It broke my heart. Her eyes never changed. And then they left.
The party ended up with Aaron teaching all the kids their how to play freeze tag and it was crazy! So much fun in the midst of complete reality of life in this country for many many many children who are living life believing they are abandoned and unwanted. To see her face and know that she understands clearly that she is not wanted by people was so hard to watch. It makes me ever so grateful for Gigi and the Hopestart Children's home that are loving these children in the midst of pain I may never fully comprehend.