That's the name of the little girl the Pastor and his wife have taken in. She has been here about a month. She’s very shy. She’s having problems wetting the bed at night and she’s also having a lot of problems in school. She should be in about the 3rd grade but isn’t ready for that class. She actually is at a preschool level but is too big for that class. She they’ve got her in a class somewhere in between but she’s having a lot trouble, especially with her alphabet. She can’t remember the difference between a & e. As soon as you get her to recognize a and move onto the next vowel, e, she has trouble distinguishing the sights and sounds of both. Madam Pas says she thinks she can work through it with her but she just hopes she has the patience because she’s already done raising her kids. Her children are all out the house, in their 20s. So its’ like starting over for her.
Marieange talks up a storm with the other kids, but in the presence of Madam Pas she is very quiet. Only answering questions in whispers mostly with one or two words. She is shy and makes very little eye contact. I asked her why she was so quiet with Madam Pas and she said it was because she didn’t want to make too much noise. I imagine it has something to do with her past. She doesn’t answer many questions about her past so very little is known. Around the other kids, she’s like one of them. A sweet, playful child, doing what all the other kids do. When I first arrive she was very quiet and shy around me as well. She was curious and would watch me and if I caught her watching, she’d sheepishly smile, duck her head and look away.
Sunday night at the church service she and two other little girls were sitting on the front row. There weren’t too many people in the service and I wasn’t sure what the protocol was for “sitting” so I just slipped in and sat on the front row as well. She and her friends giggled and smiled as they watched me. She was sitting in the middle of the them when the service started but at some point in the middle of the service she changed places sitting on the outside closest to me. I motioned for her to sit closer if she wanted and her friends edged her towards me. By the end of the service she was sitting beside me and her friends were right alongside her.
She was still shy around me but I would often find her lurking around where ever I was. Monday afternoon I discovered her love for drawing. I brought a sketch pad with me and now every afternoon she comes to me and we draw together. Tuesday after drawing, we took a walk together. Wednesday morning before she left for school, she was telling me a list of all the things she wanted to draw that afternoon; a cow, a pig, a truck, a dish, a spoon, a fork, the list goes on. Most of what she draws doesn’t really look like what she says it is, but I don't really imagine its really all that important.
Every afternoon I’ve been taking a short nap after lunch and every afternoon after a little while she sneaks in my room to see if I am awake. And she asks me if she can draw. She’s quite the chatterbox. I ask her lots of questions too. I've asked her about her mom and dad I’ve asked her about her brothers and sisters. She always answers my questions very matter-of-factly but I am saddened because I still can’t understand most of what she says. I am encouraged though that she is talking. She does love talking on the phone. She’ll often pick mine up to have imaginary conversations and they are so funny to watch because she’s so animated and dramatic. I love it.
She usually, eventually gets called away by Madam Pastor, partially because she has homework to do and partially because I think Madam Pas thinks she is bothering me. I assure her she is not, but I think she still worries about it.
I love my afternoons with Marieange. She’s had a hard life. And even though her circumstances are better now, I imagine she’s got a difficult future ahead.
Pray for Madam Pastor as she raises Marieange. Pray for wisdom and grace. And pray for Mariange. Pray for her past- that she would be released from the damaging effects of whatever it was that led her here. Pray for her present- that God would continue to grow her and change her and heal her. Pray for her future- that God will guide and direct each step.