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Living in plenty…

There was something about his eyes that got me. Standing there in his washed out long-sleeve red collar shirt…dispite the heat of the day–he wore all that he owned. And he looked at me. Those eyes. They reminded me of someone. Who was it? And it hit me. They reminded me of my precious son also born on this continent that stole my heart many years ago. Their eyes…the same. They do the same thing to this mommy heart of mine…yet their lives so different.

I hit my knees and spoke to him.

A smile returned from mine.

I sentence in his native Bemba softly spoken from my lips…and he sweetly answered in Bemba, “I’m good” with a smile. WITH A SMILE.

I have a lot to learn.

He sat with me. I pulled out a wet-wipe to wash his sweet hands clean. Not that it’d matter in 5 minutes, but for a moment…I just wanted to love him as if he were mine. The wet-wipe once white–now brown. He asked if he could have it. THIS? WE THINK THIS IS TRASH. He carefully folded the dirty wipe and stashed it away in his pocket. It wasn’t trash to him. This single wipe had good use to him. Maybe he would use it later to bathe with. To wash him hands again.

This wasn’t just one occasion…but this is what occured EVERY time…with EVERY child…ANY time I saw someone wash their hands with a simple wipe. Carefully it would be folded and put in a pocket. I was humbled.

It’s the little things that stir you when you return. Changing my babies this morning with a bag full of wipes. I am reminded how many things I take for granted. How I don’t make the most of what I have been given. How I waste things…and use them without appreciating their value to the rest of the world.

I spent my “down time” today creating documents for our school nurse to follow. Addressing the problems we saw last week. Asking her to teach the children not to eat clay and dirt for their deficiencies…as taking in parasites and worms also comes with eating dirt/soil/clay. When they come to Wiphan, they get a meal a day–and to teach them that this can be their source of nutrition instead. For most this is the only meal they get each day. And it’s so much more than the rest of the community gets. I want to thank all of you who are sponsoring a child or considering it. It is our hope to get every child sponsored…and then we can begin to reach yet another compound…feed another group of children…share the love of Christ with yet another community. THIS IS WORTH SPENDING OUR LIVES AND SAVINGS ON…

I have so much more to share about what God is doing there…so encouraged by so many of you…your comments…and your heart to serve with us.

Lauren - July 27, 2011 - 3:53 pm

oh my heart. There was a precious little boy who completely stole me in one of the pictures on facebook. red shirt and overalls. Is this the same boy you’re talking about? I love him.

leslie - July 27, 2011 - 4:15 pm

Tears. Forgive us Lord for the way that we live so full of ourselves and comfortable in all that we have. Open our eyes to this need and demand that we each respond.

Katie - July 27, 2011 - 4:16 pm

Just signed up to sponsor James. Thank you for all that you do to get the word out about the needs of these children! It is truly a blessing to help in this small way.

Sandi - July 28, 2011 - 10:11 pm

Thank you for putting your experiences, though hard, into words. Once you know the stories, see the struggle, the faces, the children whose innocence is stolen, the pain it just takes away all of that feeling of needing more & just makes you want to give more. It makes it impossible to live a “normal” life. It changes everything…Africa, oh my, it has stolen my heart…

Rebecca - July 29, 2011 - 7:43 am

Thank you for this. Thank you for sharing this story that will likely always come to mind every time that I use a wipe with my littles.

Thanks for breaking my heart once again for the orphan with no mother to simply show love through the wiping of a tiny hand.

Oh how we live in such plenty, most having no idea.

Keep the stories coming.

Amy Beyer - July 30, 2011 - 2:58 pm

Precious. Thank you for sharing your heart.