We started our day at church…a service which was a good 4-5 hours long. We danced…we sang…we worshipped. And I held back tears.
I saw him before we walked into church. He was standing outside…around the same age as my older children at home…maybe just 5 or 6. It was apparent he had scabies when I saw him. He wouldn’t come in church with us. He just sat outside. He caught my eye as we sat there and worshipped. I am sure this boy is who Jesus would have been sitting with–but even in his own community…he has to sit outside the church door and listen. He sat there smiling at me…and waving. His smile–took my breath away. SMILING. Full of joy. Sitting outside the church listen intently. And I held back tears.
The preacher called for the people to come forward and bring the offering. They worshiped. They sang…and they brought forth offerings. I’m quite sure it was more than they could almost bear to part with–but they did so joyfully. Almost every widow–young and old…children of all ages…came forward and brought something to the basket. Something I never see in our churches in America. I held back tears…as they JOYFULLY gave. These who have nothing–gave with joyful hearts. Bless them. How they gave.
She danced and sang…a widow. Jesus. You’re my Redeemer. Jesus…you are mine. She sang so beautifully with all she had. Smiling. Looking up toward the heavens. Then she hit her knees and asked us in her song if we knew Him. I am sure she knows Him. And He knows her. Watching her sing…I held back tears.
We left church to go to the compound. For hours we walked through the compound…from house to house. Christy visited her sponsored child Innocent. She amazingly loved on him and his family. He lives with his mom and his grandparents. He sleeps at his grandparents house because there is not room for him to sleep with his mom and his cousin who is just 2 years old at his house. He wants to be an accountant when he grows just like Christy and Brad. He would love to have a watch one day…so he can get to school on time. He also said he would love to eat an orange–but it’s around 20 cents…costs too much. His requests so sweet and simple. I held back tears.
We walked a couple miles to Beatrice’s home. Beatrice is the little girl Richard and I sponsor. She is in the 6th grade…3rd in her class. Her mom has 7 children. Only 4 live with her. The other 3 live in the village because they are teens. Three of the 4 that live with her are her biological children–the other is her nephew. Her sister died in the compound while giving birth. Beatrice is a beautiful girl. She wants to be an English teacher when she grows up…just like I was. She smiled as she told me…I held back tears.
We went on to visit widows…and play with children. We loved on them. Heard their stories. Sat in their mud homes. Learned some Bembe language. And I’m doing pretty good–holding back tears. Today has been a good day. So much more to say…and so much more I want to say–but I have no words for what my heart is really feeling…and I’m afraid if I say it all right now…you know what will happen;)
It is a joy to be here. I love it here. I miss my children terribly. A good thing Richard and the kids aren’t here with me…because not sure if we’d be able to leave;).