Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Learning to walk.

Today is my blog's first birthday. (and my brother's 33rd b-day, happy birthday Dano!) A year ago I was just starting my ORR/Liberian journey. And oh what a year it has been...

On Sunday I was given the opportunity to share briefly at my church. I was all prepared to go in and give the good old ORR chat. Here is what we are, what we do etc... Good things, don't get me wrong but as the minutes before I was to go on stage grew shorter I felt like I was supposed to share something deeper, something more personal.
I told Korpu's story. (I know I said it was going to be something personal, but keep reading.) You may remember it, I told it here before. Korpu is a girl who lives at one of our orphanages outside Monrovia. We think she is around 3 years old now, when we first met her a year and a half ago she was about the size of a 6 month old- very sick and malnourished. She required hospitalization and a special feeding program to regain her health. After several months of recovery she was gaining weight and looking better. When I came on the scene last fall I noticed that even though Korpu was gaining weight and looking healthier she was still not walking at all.
After watching her for awhile I decided to take her to a local rehab clinic for evaluation. The PA there determined that her feet were at a bad angle, not stable enough to support her walking. They were able to make these tiny insoles for her shoes (which is easier said than done since she did not have shoes and this started a week long search through Monrovia looking for just the right, small enough pair). Once the perfect shoes were located I had the caregivers at the home help Korpu practice everyday. She did not want to. She fought it every step of the way. But eventually she started taking some steps with assistance, walking hand in hand with her helpers.
One day when I came to the orphanage to check on Korpu, she was standing on her own! I sat down a little ways away and tried coaxing her to walk to me. She stood there with a disgusted look on her face, not moving for over 15 minutes. I sat there trying to get her to walk, just try one step. "Come to Aunt Debbie Korpu, I know you can do it." But she just stood there until finally she worked up enough courage to take that first step. It was shaky and unsure, but it was a step in the right direction, and then there was another and another. Each step gaining momentum and speed in that unstable way a child walks when they are still learning how to trust their legs and feet underneath them. Seven or eight steps and she was in my arms. I was ecstatic! As happy and proud as any parent watching their child learning how to walk and taking those first precious steps. From what I hear, now Korpu is walking all over the place.
And if you wonder why I told Korpu's story, it is because I truly believe her story is mine as well. I have learned to walk this past year. I have learned to take those first shaky steps, building speed as I fall into God's arms. Unstable at times but increasing in faith and trust in my Father. I have had some of the lowest lows and some of the highest highs and they have all pushed me closer to God. To rely on Him. And all the time He has been there- feeding me, being my stability and guide, walking me hand in hand around the obstacles. Because of His Love and provision I could take those first shaky steps, knowing He is near and will catch me if (when) I fall. With practice I can stand confident in who I am as His daughter, but I am still learning.
So the process goes on and my Liberian adventure continues. I will be returning to Liberia October 23rd. Please continue to stand with me.

1 comment:

Andy's Bethy said...

That was beautifully written.
Enjoy each step, shaky or confident. I can't wait to hear more.