One thing we worried about in announcing to the girls at Akany Avoko that they were going to the ship for Easter weekend was: “What about the 90 or so other kids who won’t go anywhere?” The last thing orphaned, abandoned and abused kids need is exclusion.
Last week director Lalasoa said to me: “Guess what?! You’re not going to believe this. Another organization has invited the remaining kids on a trip to Antisrabe after Easter. So everybody gets to go somewhere.”
Lalasoa said that invitation came out of nowhere. And that, my friends, is exactly the sort of thing Jesus does. You just have to get yourself into an impossible situation first.
So all week Lalasoa baited the kids with a “surprise announcement.” My pal Mampionona and her buddies kept trying to wheedle it out of me, but I just pretended not to understand their French – which is not hard for me to do.
On Friday Lalasoa got all the kids in a room for the big announcement. She started with the little ones and had them all stand up one by one. When they were all standing, she told them they were going away for the weekend.
Then she did the same for the older girls, and here’s how that looked.
My team and I arrived yesterday on the Africa Mercy – the girls arrive Friday afternoon. On the dock is a vinyl sign with our logo and a note written in Malagasy, welcoming the girls to the ship. It is signed by hundreds of Africa Mercy crew members.
Happy Easter indeed.