Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Pink Blanket, Africa Part 2

Ok... After two really heavy posts, I think I owe you a really great, uplifting story! (I think the last two posts have been pretty revealing about where my heart has been since coming home... A trip to Africa leaves you with A LOT to process!)

First, a little background... In 2005, Mom went on her first trip to Swaziland. On that trip was another man from her church, S... He was on the trip with us in 2007 and again this time. S and his wife B are the most incredible couple... I LOVE their hearts for orphans, Scott and I would love spending time with them if we just lived closer...

On that first trip in 2005, Mom and S spent their entire week working in a little village in the mountains. To say that this village and its people gripped their hearts is an understatement. They have stayed in touch with them through their guide, Enoch and through one of the sons from the village. They went back in 2007 to see them and on this trip, I had the INCREDIBLE blessing of going with them and meeting some of the most gentle, humble people you could ever hope to meet.

On their first trip they met a young man, Sizwe. It was clear how much he loved mom and S by the way he came running when we arrived, look at these hugs and the smile on his face...




Well, months before we left, God moved a sweet woman's heart (the mom of the lady, J, who my mother works for) to crochet a couple of blankets and a beautiful sweater set for mom to take to give to the people in Africa. All of the things were works of art, but there was a pink blanket that really touched my heart.

When I first saw the blanket, I thought, "It is such a shame that she may never know who that went to, that needs to go to someone REALLY special."

And then the night before we left to go to Kubuta, even though mom knew there were babies in the Children's Homes, she felt compelled to take the pink blanket to the people in Kubuta. As I watched her pack it, I thought again, "It needs to go to someone really special...she needs to know who that blanket went to."

I will never forget the moment that mom unpacked the blanket in the back bedroom of the home of Sizwe's mom and dad, Mumcy and Samuel... It is imprinted on my heart forever the look on Sizwe's face as she turned and handed it to him... You see, in the 2 years since they were last there, Sizwe had become a father to a precious baby girl!




There were a lot of amazing moments on our trip, but I think this may be the sweetest for me... You see, I had not thought of the pink blanket again that morning, until mom unpacked it... Even when Sizwe first told us about his daughter, I still didn't remember the pink blanket. It wasn't until mom turned to hand it to Sizwe that I got it...

Months before, on the opposite of the world, God had moved the heart of one of His children to crochet a pink blanket for a little girl we knew nothing about... He knew her by name, He knit her together in her mother's womb, and on that day, He said a resounding, "I love you" all the way from heaven...

In Sunday School this past week, our lesson was on the Holy Spirit and during the hour, our teacher said, "He (the Holy Spirit) calls us to act. He looks around and says, 'Who can I convince to take care of my sheep? Who will hear me?'"

J's mom heard the call and was obedient... And because of her obedience, she blessed the heart of Sizwe, his daughter, his family, my mom, S and me... In her sweet obedience, she reminded me that God is intimately involved in our lives and that He loves us beyond reason and will go to extraordinary measures to remind us....

Hebrews 3:15 says, "Today... (don't miss that...Today...right now...) Today, if you hear my voice, do not harden your hearts..."

Thank you J's mom... Thank you that you didn't harden your heart... Thank you that you listened... Thank you that every stitch in that blanket is a beautiful picture of how much God loves us... I pray that we all will be inspired by you to listen and obey.

Stay tuned, in a day or so (if I can wait that long!), I'll tell you about one of the nicest things that's ever been done for me...


sierrasmom said...

Oh what a precious story. God is sooo good!! This story touched my heart. The pictures could tell the stories without words, although your words always move me in such a way.....

Shonni said...

That is a truly beautiful story. I love the look on his precious!!!

Anonymous said...

I love reading the stories thru your your heart and your eyes.

Yes, I know about one of the kindest things you (we) have ever had done for you. Sweet, kind, thoughtful, and most of all loving.

Again, I love reading your words.

April Isaacs said...

What a beautiful story!! I love that pink blanket too! But I love even more what it represents. That, like you said, God goes to extreme measures to tell us he loves us. What a shame if you don't know how to watch for that!

Thanks Sharla!