We had a slow & late start this morning - which was a nice change of pace. After breakfast we went to the House of Hope property to see it and to do a prayer walk. While I was walking I really heard God's voice through nature.
The property is surrounded by chain-link fence, but there's bougainvillaea growing up it - creating a hedge of protection.
On my walk I saw a butterfly land on one of the flowers & I felt like God spoke to me that the girls/women that come to House of Hope will feel safe & secure and be able to just rest in God and his creation. That butterfly had the freedom to fly to any of the neighboring fields/farms, but she chose to stay and rest at the House of Hope. She was protected. Safe. Just like the girls will be. On one side of the property the bougainvillaea is flourishing and a bit overgrown- but there are shoots of it reaching 2-3 feet into the property and I saw that as God reaching, stretching himself toward the House of Hope. And the... interesting (? for lack of better word) thing is - that part of the property (I learned later) is the exact spot where the building that houses the girls will be. On the other three sides, just outside the property, are fields of corn, with very tall stalks.
As I walked and prayed God showed me that those hundreds of corn stalks standing tall and surrounding the property represent his army of angels. They surround that place. Watching. Protecting.
We also took some time to write down scriptures we felt the Lord giving us and we buried them at the four corners of the property, laying the spiritual foundation. Mary & Peter took oil and anointed the perimeter of the property, and as they met in the middle the rain came pouring down. We had been talking about and praying about fresh rain earlier in the week so it was really neat to see God unleash that at just that moment.
After everyone had time to walk the property and pray, we met on the foundation to look at the plans for the buildings.
The goal of the House of Hope is to raise up and educate the girls until they are either ready to go to college or ready to learn a trade.
That is where the restaurant comes in.
We worked there at the restaurant the rest of the day. It's an old house that hasn't been lived in very several years so it is very, very dusty and dirty. Time was spent washing the walls before we could prime them, and the guys demolished the cabinets in the kitchen.
So Owen hung out with the team and Bill & I were taken to the Union Coffee Co. restaurant where a romantic table set with a couple dozen roses and several candles awaited us. (pardon the cell-phone pics)
The team came around the corner at one point (they were eating on the other side of the restaurant) and sang "Happy Anniversary to You" to the tune of Happy Birthday, it was sweet. After we ate we took the car back to the house and they had decorated our room with flowers and candles and I got an hour-long full-body massage. I kind of knew about the massage. Tracey is a single mom of two who earns her living by going to peoples' houses and giving mani/pedi's and massages. She's a friend of the family so Mary had asked who wanted to sign up for a massage. Yes. We're on a mission trip. Getting massages. BUT. We're helping Tracey out a lot. Everyone on the team got a massage within a three-day span, so that was a very good week for her :) Anyway, the one hour massage was 20,000 tsh (shillings), which ends up being about $15. She's been doing them since she was 17 (she's now 36) and was trained in Nairobi. It was wonderful - and SO relaxing.
After the team got back Bill & I put Owen to bed then headed over to the house and finished out the night with another game of Nertz. :)