It’s not often that I would get the chance to take the one-hour drive to ZOE all alone… in fact I don’t think I’d ever done it completely solo… until this past Wednesday that is.
On this particular drive, I had the time to really appreciate the variety of scenery in the journey. So much so that on my way home, I wore my camera around my neck while I drove and took some random shots out my car window hoping to capture the progression of the changes along the way.
From our house, out through suburbia, onto the highways, along winding streets and then in to the national park. The bitumen becomes stony and then the stones change to a red dirt ridden with huge potholes. It is down this bumpy track that you get a glimpse, through the banana trees, of the ZOE Children’s Home roofline.
Dave and I had to laugh a few weeks ago when his parents announced that they would just “get a taxi home from ZOE!”. When you experience the trip to ZOE, you realize just how isolated it really is.
Upon pulling in to the driveway though, it’s easy to forget just how far away from everything else you are because you step out in to what we fondly refer to as “ZOE” land!
ZOE is a place you need to experience first-hand to really truly understand it but the atmosphere and culture of this home has not once ceased to amaze me in the past 12 months of being here.
The standard and caliber of the staff, students, parents and kids at ZOE is simply astounding.
Their politeness, their servant hearts, their attitudes and their conduct is above anything I have seen or experienced before. They are so welcoming, appreciative and friendly.
Despite the language barrier, it is impossible not to fall in love with the ZOE family. Maybe it’s because they are a family that really knows how to love… unconditionally! We have certainly needed this, this past year! Our children really do enjoy their time at ZOE- their only ‘problem’ being that they are sometimes too loved on!!
Dave and I are so thankful for the ZOE kid’s patience and persistence. It’s meant that each of our children have developed some really special friends amongst the ZOE children who they now look out for and play with. They are even slowly learning to get used to the “mob” that attacks them with hugs of excitement as they arrive!
So whilst I feel like I am always saying, “It is SUCH A LONG WAY TO DRIVE” … and it’s winding, it’s bumpy and it’s in the middle of the jungle… this unmade road... this less traveled one, is certainly worth taking just to see the smiles on the faces, to hear the laughter of the children and to receive the warmth and acceptance that is offered so freely.
And as for the Cross Family’s journey so far? … Well it too has been a bumpy ride but the more we travel down these unmade tracks, the more we stop and see the beauty that surrounds us and the more we open up our own arms and hearts to the warmth and acceptance that has embraced us; the easier it is getting to enjoy the ride.
I feel so excited for 2011… joyful in advance for the experiences we are going to have this year in Thailand - potholes and all!