Saturday, July 21, 2012

Africa: 569

I want to start by saying, Mackenzie was so incredible today!  It was so fun to watch her with the children…  She played, danced, sang with them and let them braid her hair.  I loved watching her sit and talk to them, she slipped into it so easily.  There is no doubt she made some children feel very special and loved today.  (I'll have to wait until I get home to post pictures because the internet is pretty slow here.)

So today was a hard day… 

Today 569 children came to be fitted for TOMS shoes… Today I saw 569 children who have only one, or no parents…  Today I saw 569 children who are hungry…  Thirsty…  Need lip balm because they are in the middle of one of the worst droughts in 10 years and their lips are parched…  They desperately need new clothes and new shoes…  Today I saw 569 of whom I’m sure Jesus was talking about when He said the ‘least of these…’  Not because they are less in His eyes, but because the world treats them as less.

Today I saw 569 children who are starving not only for food, but also attention…  Some of them are caring for younger siblings because their parents have died…  But who looks after them?

Today a little girl literally fought off other children trying to hold my hand…  She didn’t push or fight for her chance for shoes, but she sure did for a touch.  I had my hand on her back for a few minutes and put it down, she turned around, picked up my hand and put it back.

Today I met a young woman with Downs Syndrome.  I’ve never seen anyone with Downs in Africa, but in her face, I saw the face of Jesus.

She stood off to the side of the rest of the children…  She was always nearby, but she never pushed her way in…  She waited to be invited to do anything…  The least little bit of attention would bring a grin that lit up her face… 

At the end of the day, we were blessed with an hour to just hang out with the children…  A few of us sat down on the ground and played with them.  I noticed she sat down just a little behind me, so I scooted back to sit next to her…  she dropped her eyes and smiled.  Every once in a while, I would pat her on her back…  she would drop her eyes and smile.  I helped her shoo the flies away…  she dropped her head and smiled…  I asked her if I could have a picture with her…  she dropped her head and smiled. We couldn't communicate with each other using words, but I guess sometimes all love needs is a touch.

Today, somehow Jesus got me out of His way and used me to love a young woman…  It was an incredible privilege and blessing…  I will never forget her face, because I’m convinced that today, I saw the face of Jesus…  Not just once though…  569 times!

1 comment:

Naomi said...

Love your posts Sharla! I always feel as though I am there with you. You bring the poverty and desperation to life for us all to 'see' through your eyes.

Thank you.