Saturday, November 14, 2009

Journal Entry: Final Night

The same stars that light the sky over our hotel light the sky over the orphanage. The same crickets chirp and dogs bark. Not five miles away a city sleeps in squalor. Families cram into rooms smaller than some of our closets.

Rain from today's downpour drips through the tin roofs of shanties piled beside the river, where thousands of people collapse in sleep before waking to another hopeless day. UN officials and businessmen chatter below at the pool and the bar. They talk and laugh as strains of music fill the air with romance, drowning out the sound of poverty and death.

Tomorrow the sun will rise, we will go home, and life will go on. The children will wake to the same sky we fly home through, huddle on their dirt floors, and live with the memory, maybe fleeting, of eight American women who came for a few days, held their hands, cradled their bodies, and told them about the love of a man named Jesus, who is everything they need.

May they remember. May they believe.

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