Most of Saturday was spent cooking, cleaning and getting ready. Many, many thanks to Coty and the boys for all their help. We even rehung the front door so it would close properly without the doorknob falling off!
Around 4, Babu and Wendy (one of the board members for the Children's Home) arrived. I could hardly believe he was here in my own home! What a happy reunion.
We had dinner together and then a group of folks came over for dessert. Babu talked for a bit about the work he does in Bapatla, showed some pictures, and answered questions. It was an informative and moving evening for folks. As one dear friend said, "My heart is deeply stirred."
Sunday morning, Babu was introduced in church and he read one of the Scripture passages in Telugu. One of the things I love about our church is that we value diversity and include other languages in our service. Because we have a number of Chinese students that worship with us, we often read scripture in Mandarin. I don't think there were any other Telugu speakers there yesterday, but we still appreciate just hearing how others in faraway places hear the word in their own tongues.
Once again, I felt deep joy in being a part of this little church. I looked around and saw people from China, the Philippines, Honduras, India and the Congo. I saw children adopted from Cambodia and Liberia; large families and single people; black, white, young, old, and all ages in between. I heard small children and babies, papers rattling, and a few cries.
I cried at the end of the sermon...tears of deep gratitude and amazement, remembering the hard times and glad for it's lessons. Joy filled for the faithfulness, perseverance, and humility of so many and the abundant fruit so evident around the room. If you were there and heard the sermon, you will understand those tears.
After church, about 30 people came to our house for lunch and to hear Babu. Again he spoke about the work in Bapatla and answered lots of questions. So many people had a chance to speak with him individually. He held babies and played with children. As we were standing around before we ate, I saw him hugging Ryan, adopted from Cambodia. It was a sweet picture.
Babu speaking to everyone gathered in the family room...
...and enjoying conversation afterwards.
When the guests left, we all crashed. Babu and Wendy headed upstairs for naps. Coty and I turned on the football game and snuggled up on the couch to
In the evening, all refreshed, we headed over to the Farson's for a visit with that wonderful family and several of their neighbors. Yet again, Babu spoke about his work and answered questions. He was so happy to get to see Grace and to meet her folks. What a precious time of connecting and who knows what will come of it?
This morning, after a leisurely start and a good old Southern breakfast of eggs, grits, and biscuits, our guests headed out. We had such great conversations all weekend, such joy in spending time with Babu and Wendy, and were happy to be able to introduce them to so many friends.