Friday, January 01, 2010

Christmas packages at the Home and "Teta Belinda"

Yesterday we went to hand out the Christmas Packages at the orphanage. Ivana and Sofija helped me to hand them out and the kids also received other packages from other organisations at the same time! Here are some of the pictures:

Even as we were handing out the packages the Director was referring to me as "Teta Belinda" and I thought that was so funny as I recently wrote an article about being "Teta Belinda" for our YWAM Central European Newsletter about what our involvement in the home has meant to me personally... I include it below:

“Teta Belinda, Teta Belinda”
Almost two years ago, when I first asked at the Banja Luka Children’s Home whether we would be able to run some sort of English Classes for the kids when a YWAM DTS team from Northern Ireland was in town, I don’t think I could ever have realised what it would mean for me personally down the road. The director was pleased to have us come in and play games with the kids to help them have fun and maybe learn some English.

As there were 9 people in that team I asked some of the students who attend my weekly English Conversation Club to come along and help with the translation. After a month, the team left and then one of the English Club came to me and said what I had been thinking: “we could do this ourselves”.

So, since then, each week, a group of us from the Club have been going in and playing with the kids and “teaching” them English through the games. The English Conversation Club members are so happy to be given an outlet to volunteer and I love the extra interaction it gives me with them each week. As the kids are boisterous and love to have fun, it is usually loud and chaotic. My favourite game is definitely “Simon Says” where we say “Simon Says: be quiet” and whoever talks is OUT! Bliss!

Now, here in Bosnia-Hercegovina, the polite way to address someone who is older than you is “teta” (or “auntie”) and then their name: so I am “Teta Belinda” to these kids. Usually at the height of some guessing game I have 4 or 5 kids with their ‘two fingers’ in front of my face screaming “Teta Belinda, Teta Belinda” in order to be heard. Around town I can hear the delight in their voice as they see me and come running over shouting “Teta Belinda”.

And recently I realised something: even though God hasn’t yet given me any kids of my own, I am “Teta” to over 30 of them at the children’s home. I see them grow and change and some of them have become particularly dear and close to my heart. I count it an honour to be able to be a part of their lives and look forward to seeing how God will continue to use me as I am “Teta Belinda” to these, His precious children.

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