After 5 months in Zambia it’s difficult to nail down what the most powerful thing is that I’ve experienced or the most transformational thing I’ve learned. I have a composition book I am using as a journal while I’m here and it’s already almost full.

That said, there is no doubt that our time at the orphanage down the road has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. On a two week missions trip we would have met these amazing children and then said goodbye, but because we are neighbors, we get to see each other all the time.

The other day Erin and I met two of the girls walking down the road and one of them, Verena, came running towards me saying, “Uncle Jonathan”, and gave me the biggest hug. Easily the highlight of that day and even week.

Today we stopped by to visit and it was just amazing holding them and laughing with them. While we were there one of my “little friends” who just turned four and is HIV positive just wanted to hold hands and sit together. This little guy stole my heart the day I met him and I wish we could hang out every day. When we walked through the gates today he came darting towards me saying “Uncle Jonathan” and I quickly snatched him up into my arms. I could hold that guy forever.

Whether it’s coloring together, running races, showing them tricks, learning tonga, or just sitting together, every moment with them is incredible.

I have already learned volumes from just being with these kids, I am in the process of learning more as I think about our visits, and I know that through the pictures and memories I will continue to learn from “my little friends” for the rest of my life.

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