My fears have been relieved. Saturday was a success and a ton of fun. I had 16 lovely ladies come and join me for an afternoon of games, talking, laughing, and eating. To my surprise, I had about 11 muslim girls. They were so cute! They all dressed up in their prettiest bui bui's and put on make up and lots of nice perfume. One girl even made a rainbow pattern in her hair! I was told that some were even invited to a wedding but turned it down to come hang out with me. Yes, they were going out for a girls afternoon and needed to dress the part.
We played some games where the girls got pretty rowdy. Lots of noise. Then I had a serious talk about them on the topic of Mercy. We talked about our goals and vision for this group, what we wanted to do, things we wanted to talk about, and the rules. I made it clear to these ladies that I want commitment. I want to see them every saturday not just when they feel like coming. I was very strict with this. And they understood. I think.
We ended at around 5:30 and Kelvin and I sat and had a drink on our way home. Kelvin was so proud of me. He told me that he felt like he had somehow managed to marry Mother Teresa! Haha. We then talked about just our hearts for these ladies and this community. We talked about Jesus' heart for these people as well.
My heart really broke for these ladies. They grow up and are accustomed to a very harsh environment. They are not taught manners as I soon discovered as they screamed, yelled, were rude, and cheated at every game we played. I am not talking just one of them. At one point, I am sure every girl cheated during our games. For them, its ok. It's what they know; it's how they understand life. Then when it came to discussion, it was interesting to see how the muslim girls had a hard time opening up. It's like they are taught not to talk or to discuss. None of them could do it. Then as we were talking about what we wanted to do in this group, they all wanted to get out of Kongowea. I think they live a pretty sheltered life at home.
So I have my work cut out for me. I have decided that I really need a couple strong leaders with me to help control/crack/transform/love on these ladies. Right now, we are trying out a few weeks to see who will actually stay and who won't. I want to gain their trust and loyalty so that, if we tackle a tough topic, they won't run away.
Pray! We need it! Pray just for LOVE for them. Pray that they are teachable. Pray that we will gain favour with them and their families. Pray for each one who sticks beside us. Pray for their lives!