Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I have been bad about updating since my internet has been poor and I have also been extremely busy. Here is a short (okay, it’s really long… but very short considering how much I could have written) summary of what’s been going on. I will write again tonight or tomorrow with more about Carol and what God is doing—you will be so encouraged to see His deep care for orphans.

Two weeks ago to the day, I moved into a children’s home. This humble compound is a home to 27 children who have been affected or infected with HIV/AIDS. More than a home, it is a place of Hope. I cannot describe the love I have felt from these kids as they allow me to experience His joy through them. Within the first 24 hours, we had laughed, cried, prayed, sang, snuggled, and praised Him for His faithfulness. Sometime, I will take a moment to describe each of these incredible gifts of life… I will tell you about how sweet little Joseph’s heart is and how well he expresses his love to me, even though he can only speak several words in English. I will tell you about 10 year old Mary and how much desire she possesses in her heart to love every single person in her path and how through doing this, He receives the utmost glory. I will tell you about Alice and how eager she is to be used for His kingdom; how she is saying ‘yes’ to Him with every breath she takes and how incredible it is to watch Him raise up such a leader in this precious 8th grade girl. I will tell you about little Dan and how even though during praise and worship time he is partially seeking attention from his 26 older brothers and sisters, God hears his loud shouts of worship and cherishes the thanksgiving He receives from such a young child. I will tell you about how little Tomato (his name is Thomas but ‘tomato’ fits him better) just wants to be held sometimes and how well he responds to any love that anyone wants to give him, while gladly returning the love exceedingly more. I promise to take the time to tell you about each child and absolutely covet your prayers for the children that He draws your heart to. I want you to laugh hysterically with me as my 7 preschoolers dance around the room naked each morning, before we put their school uniforms on. I want you to be in the room as we sing praises to our Sustainer each and every night; I want you to soak in the words of Jesus as a little child recites them from memory. I want you to be on your knees with me as I pray by the side of a sick child’s bed; I want there to be more hands to rub backs as some of the kids have trouble quieting their minds and falling asleep. I just want you to experience this stuff because I am so confident it would bless you like it blesses me. These kids are absolutely incredible in every single way… they have blessed me infinitely in my short amount of time with them.

Let me tell you a little bit about Carol. First of all, I love her. I really, really love her. She is feisty. Lovingly bossy to her little sister, Mary. She is capable of the meanest faces I have ever seen when forced to guzzle porridge or swallow down her 3060406 meds in 5 seconds so they can go onto the next child. She is also capable of the sweetest smile I know. She meticulously picks out the vegetables in her food and stacks them all on the side of the plate (just like me). When I sneak her Tangy Tomato chips, she stuffs them anywhere she can find so that no one sees her. She loves to brag to certain friends about the things she has seen/done that day (ie. we got to ride an elevator after the hospital in Nairobi and she pretty much had every single child on their knees begging to be able to do the same). She laughs when I give her a bath because I clearly have no idea how to bathe her like she is used to being bathed; I can barely figure out how to wash myself using a bucket of water, let alone a child. She always feels the need to tell me when she is going to the toilet…haha; I think I asked her once “Naenda wapi” (where are you going) and from now on she even wakes me up at night to tell me when she is going to the toilet—it’s precious. She looks at me with a sheepish smile as she scratches her chicken pox because she knows I hate it when she does that, but will not respond harshly like the others will. When she cannot fall asleep and everyone but us is snoring, she tilts her head back towards my bed and we just smile and communicate without words. When I feel her head 3959295842 times per night to see if she has fever and she happens to be awake, she looks at me with eyes that say she is glad I am checking on her and that she will be okay; somehow her looks ease my mind and I am able to fall asleep again for a little while. When I say “nakupenda sana sana sana!” (I love you very very very much) before she goes to bed she says “asante” (thanks) with a smile. When she can tell I am getting slightly annoyed by someone pulling my hair too hard, breaking my neck by hanging on it, or screaming for no reason, she gets angry at them for me in Swahili. I was talking with the girls about their favorite things last night and when asked what she wanted to be when she grows up …… she yelled POLICE. Haha. I love it. She loves the book “Goodnight moon” and though I practically never hear her speak English, sometimes I catch her reading it outloud. Basically, I am in love. Head over heels for this girl.

This past weekend, a friend and I took her to the city to have some fun since she has had such a rough time even just in the 2 weeks I’ve known her (chicken pox, malaria, pneumonia, TB, etc…. AIDS). We were able to take her to pick out her very first doll, buy a new dress, push her through a grocery store in one of those kids carts/cars, let her eat whatever food she wanted, visit an elephant orphanage, go on a safari walk, and just spend time watching movies/hanging out away from the orphanage. She has truly blossomed in this new environment and I have so enjoyed seeing her smile bigger than I thought was possible. I will tell you more about her tomorrow, but just wanted to thank those of you who have been praying for her and ask you to continue. I want to tell you about her heart, her struggles, her past, and the future He has for her and how you can be a part of loving her and living out James 1:27.


  1. Oh my sweet Annie!! Once again, I am moved to utter weeping as I read your blog! I am weeping because as I read your blog, I am listening to the beautiful sounds that my own children are making. Carson, as she is lovingly irritating her baby brother! And Robert, as he protests to her, but only between the laughs that he is giving her at the same time. I am so grateful to God for allowing me to be their mother! But, as their mother, I can think of no greater fear I have than to NOT be their mother. That something would happen to me and I miss them growing up or being there to talk about all life will slap in their faces! I think deep down it is a fear for so many mothers. So, I can't explain to you what it does to my heart, to know that these children have you to be their mother! To feel the very love that you have for these children, an authentic love, I know that it is what their own mothers hoped and desired for their sweet babies! I can think of NO greater gift for my children than to have people in their life who LOVE,LOVE,LOVE them!! So, this morning, I weep because I know that God has given you so much more than a calling, He has given you a heart that will LOVE and give of yourself, in a way that inspires me and convicts me to my very core!! Thank you for your "ramblation" this morning-it is just what this comfortable East Cobb mommy needed!! But more than anything, THANK YOU JESUS for Annie and for her sweet babies and for her willingness to be YOUR very hands and feet, but mostly-your HEART!!

  2. I'm so glad you had a chance to update, Annie. Girl, if you knew how much I stalked this blog looking for an update, you might think I was a little bit crazy. Wait. You actually KNOW I'm crazy. Go figure. ;)

    I am in awe of the work God is doing in you and through you for those sweet children. You are just amazing!!

    I'll keep stalking 'til another post appears. I'm praying for you too. Love you, girl!!

  3. Annie, I hope you don't mind that I am sharing your blogs with my Mother and she,in turn, is sharing them with her very special friends. Know that you have SO many prayers being said for you, Carol and all the children. My Mother said it well - "Annie is such a very very special missionary of God". You are doing more for those children that I think even you imagine. God bless you, Annie.

  4. Annie,
    I doubt you remember me, I was a senior at Alabama when you were a Freshman. I have gotten to keep up with your travels and adventures through the facebook newsfeed and today, I read your blog for the first time. I want you to know how much what I read touched me. Your stories made me laugh and cry and understand how much love and good there is in the world. I wish I had the courage you have to go out into the world and spread God's word and love. Thank you for being such an incredible and inspirational person.