Saturday, November 10, 2012

JESUS loves me

Africa was in me before I was in Africa.  I could hardly contain the desire I had to sit in her dirt surrounded by beautiful little orphans, to hold her children and watch my fair skinned little blessings play with their African brothers and sisters.  GOD has richly satisfied this desire, even while HE increases it.

Let's have a little perspective before I get to the point.  Our time here is brief. I could look at how we live and what we give and think it's something special. But it isn't, really.  My friend, Li, proves this. 
Like us, Li is only in Africa for a brief period.
I try to make sure we send a plate of food down to our guards whenever we eat. I don't usually send it on our every day dishes. I send it on a plastic one that they can't break.   I've been at Li's house at mealtime.  She sends a plate out to her guard too....on a silver platter, with her best dishes. She sends coffee with cream in a pretty little cream bowl, sugar in a bowl with a spoon, a napkin and all the extras. It looks like she is serving royalty. 
That's how HE likes it.  

Whenever I go to the orphanage, I always make a big deal of it (because it is to me) but Li has gone to her favorite orphanage at least every week for months and months.  She has poured her life, her wallet and her efforts into them.  I have a lot to learn from her.  

And yet, I still love the story GOD is writing with me, too.  Last week, when I was at Call of Hope I sat in the only small area where the orphans at the school can play and I had more than 20 little 5-7 year-olds in a circle around me. I was teaching them some of the songs I've known since I was very young. You probably learned them too---JESUS loves me, If I were a butterfly, things like that.  Only, this time as I watched their sweet faces as they tried to learn the songs, the words came alive again.  Words that didn't hold the same value to me in my safe little home, in my safe country, with a mom and dad who adored me and followed JESUS.  Words like "Little ones to HIM belong"  and "YOU gave me JESUS and YOU made me YOUR child".  Words that, to an orphan, mean you have a family. Words that mean you are someone's child. Words that mean you belong. 
I taught them another very simple song that goes like this, "JESUS JESUS let me tell you how I feel. YOU have given me your SPIRIT. I love you so."  This was their favorite. They caught on pretty quick and kept practicing it.    
When it was time for me to leave, and they returned to their small concrete classroom, I heard their voices behind me as I walked away, still singing it.  
My kids and I went back yesterday to play and sing some more.  When we arrived, my kids immediately dispersed to go hunt down their playmates.  I walked toward the little classroom of the young ones. They poured out and got into a circle around me.  Then, very loudly they began to sing in beautiful unison, the song that, in one week, they had made their own. It was the "JESUS JESUS" song I had taught them, but it wasn't the same as when I taught them. They sang the words with their accent now, their volume, in their way.  
It was breathtaking.  

That right there? That's my JESUS. Making HIS NAME great (Guinean-style <3)

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