I am just now catching my breath after an amazing, jam-packed four days with the Amani women. When they left on Sunday afternoon my heart was so full. I had indescribable joy, peace and fulfillment. It was as though the very breath of God filled my Spirit in a new way. It was some of the sweetest “abiding in Him” time I have had in months. And it wasn’t because I was sitting in my favorite chair reading my Bible for hours. It was because I was absolutely dependent on Him for direction in each and every moment. I was so out of my comfort zone but yet so comfortable in that place of the unknown because I knew He was right there. I could see Him in their faces, hear them in their laughs and sense Him in all of the blessings that were being lavished on them and on us during their time here. Dont’ you just wish you were here with us? Me, too!
After we left the P31 office on Thursday morning, we took the beautiful tour bus to the Black Lion, a multi-merchant gift, home furnishings, and design center. It is one of my favorite stores to just walk around looking, dreaming, shopping and eating. They greeted us with personal pre-printed name tags, menus to take our orders and then took us on a a grand tour. The women had so much fun. Here they are at our first stop – at the room with wall to wall lazy-boys! During the tour the store owner, Bob Emory, shared with the women that they want to open a booth to display Amani products free of charge with all proceeds going back to the ministry in Kenya. At the end of our tour, they led us to a beautiful luncheon area they had set up, and then gave each woman a $25 gift card to shop and a gift bag.
After we left the Black Lion, we headed downtown to Imaginon, the home of Charlotte’s Children’s Theatre and Children’s Library. It’s an amazing place – full of books, colors, artwork, and so much more. The women kept touching the books and looking through them. I don’t know that they have ever seen that many books in one place. They also posed for a fun shot with Paddington, the storybook bear.
After Imaginon, we walked to the Mint Museum where they were having a jewelry and craft exhibit. From there the women road the Links, our electric mass transit system and then we headed back towards our part of town where we met our families for dinner at Wolfman Pizza. My boys really enjoyed getting to know the women who sat at our table. It was such a fun day and I would soon discover that the next day would be just as special.