Flatirons Men's Afghanistan Trip Day Three - Tuesday, April 24, 2012
We went to school today. There were all kinds of things we did throughout the day, but nothing compares to our trip to the school...and the hope we've seen. The morning started with a rousing call to prayer that echoed off the buildings on this end of Kabul. The mullah (I guess) hops on a PA system at the mosque down the street and chants or sings a call to prayer in Pashto...or Dari...or Farsi...Either way, it's like no other alarm clock I've ever had. The predawn hour and sing-song cadence of the mullah on the PA system is haunting.
We said our goodbyes to the Ladies team as they packed up and headed for home. It was wonderful, standing together in this little room of the house where we're staying, being prayed over by this great group of women. That being said...it's much quieter around here now that they're gone. No judgement there...just an observation.
And then we went to school. Teammate John Waters put it best: Hope. We experienced the hope that blankets these muddy streets. I mean, here we were...9 men from the U.S....on a mission trip to help (supposedly) the "least of these"...and we were the ones blessed. Our team was able to go into each classroom and talk to the grade school students...about 220 kids total...and ask questions or hear about what life is like for them here in Kabul.
And we heard hope.
We were all taken back by how well behaved and polite the kids were -- especially knowing that most don't have fathers and come from the poorest of conditions. The school is set up to bring the children "up to speed" with the other kids their age...so that they can enter one of the public schools. Without this school (funded and managed by our mission partner), these kids would be on the streets...and falling through the gaping cracks that exist in their world. But instead, they talk of being pilots and doctors and policemen. They talk of hope.
And we saw hope.
There are two sessions (morning and afternoon) at the school. As the morning session ends, the children are fed -- for some, their only meal of the day. Then, as the the AM kids are dismissed, the PM kids filter in. The looks on their faces took our breath away...multiple times. Like when we had the privilege of feeding them lunch...or when a couple of the guys asked the kids what they wanted to be when they grew up...or simply when they danced and pranced in the courtyard of the school before and after school. The way kids are supposed to dance and prance. Their eyes...their dark, soulful eyes...were filled with joy and hope.
We came back and worked on a project -- sorting through blankets and coats we plan to distribute at an IDP camp tomorrow, but all of us (as Kyle Hamlin said)...were "taking awhile to process" our day at the school.
I really wish everyone back home could experience a fraction of what we've seen and heard here in Kabul so far. I'm sure, like us, you too would be filled...with hope. "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13