Friday, August 9, 2013

Children of Africa

Radiant Joy
Yesterday as I walked hand and hand with a little girl I was amazed by her, simply by her positivity.  Even as we passed by her tiny home made of clay and tin she continued to shine with radiant joy. She was so full of life and personality, telling us that she is Christian and loves God. Even as she walked with tattered clothes, most likely starving, and with the stress of living a life in dire poverty  over her head she continued to almost yell out, “Oh how wonderful!,” or “Oh how great!”, at the end of each comment or sentence I said. She walked with a bounce and held my hand introducing me to her village. When I asked her name she said, “My name is Purity, and I am pure in heart!” I was encouraged just by her presence and I continue to wonder what life would be like if I chose to walk with radiant joy in all my sufferings, and in child-like faith no matter what I faced each day. Jesus help me be like a child.

Always Thankful
A couple days ago Kylee and I sat with four beautiful children having a picnic in the dirt. It all started when we went to their house to hang out and ended up walking in on pain, as expected. The baby sat crying, sweating, sick, and completely neglected for hours in his own poop. Instantly we bathed him, changed him, and comforted him as the other two children, and a friend ran home hearing our voices. After a while of watching the kids play and taking care of the baby the little boy shyly, with his hands covering his face asked us for food having learned that we usually feed them when we come. I don’t feed every child that asks for food but this was a different case. I knew him and his living conditions.  I knew the neglect, and the pain. I knew that they often don’t eat at all, and they never have asked for food themselves, apart from mom. So we took the baby and went out to fetch some lunch. When we returned the children were filled with joy, so excited to eat. They ran to grab plates and we quickly poured out the beans and ugali on two plates seeing how frantic they were to eat.  But this was the part I was overcome by, the three children sat there and each said a prayer before any of them ate a bite. These are children! They know without a doubt that God is the one that provides all they receive, and there is no way they will not thank Him! As soon as the last one said their prayer they dug in, fisting handfuls of beans and ugali into their mouths. They ate so much and so fast I was amazed and filled with compassion.

I walk with children and learn how to be joyful in suffering.  I sit and learn from babies how to be grateful! I am overcome by the goodness of God for his children and I am so thankful for His hand on their lives!

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