“So those who went off with heavy hearts, will come home laughing with armloads of blessings” Ps 126 The Message
It was easy to get off by 7:00 a.m. We had stayed up late packing and loading the car the night before. All we had to do when daylight arrived was load the last carry-on luggage, say good-bye to the “giant woodpecker” air-conditioning noise, grab a granola bar and go.
The last day of the school distribution, because of the delays we encountered, was our first full day. We had six schools to cover and over 5,000 children to hand out boxes to! We were going to be busy. As Michelle had prayed, we were going to need a “holy hustle” to accomplish the task set before us.
We arrived at the first school and had to hastily get underway with a “short” program because it seemed the Dutch were on their way with a program of their own. We sped through the singing, and the “tricks”, but for the Gospel we took all the time we needed. The children were well-behaved and formed lines quickly to receive their boxes. Once it was over we were off to the second stop.
The door to the van slammed and Pam buried her head in her hands. The tears came from a tender heart, touched by the conditions of the children. The amount of love God pours out from them back to us can be overwhelming. The gratitude and joy gushing from children in torn school clothes, no shoes, hungry bellies yet full hearts, humbled us.
Our next stop was a school deep in the savannah, where herds of cattle crossed the schoolyard on a regular basis. We drove up and saw the original school buildings (mud huts) still being used. Children stood, waved, jumped up and down and gathered for the program.
Our arrival is quite an event. Cars this far back off the main road are few and far between – much less white people in cars. If you have come this far you have a reason – it is a God reason. The children understand they have a reason to be excited, they are about to benefit from this visit. In this part of their world, the only reasons the white come is to give them something, build something, or bring medicine. This is not a tourist spot; there are no animals for “safaris”.
The sight of 500 children clapping, jumping and singing praise songs with a backdrop of the African hillside are amazing. I am often reminded of the verse “out of the mouths of babes you will ordain praise” and praise the Living God these children did.
I ask the children at the beginning of the program the name of their school and village. I ask if it is found on a map. They laugh. But it is a visual they can relate to. I did not know where they were but God knew where they were! I am always blessed by the number of praise “choruses” they are familiar with. There were God-believers here before us, and there will surely be God-believers here after us.
Pam’s tears watered the seeds we sowed, and are guaranteed the harvest in the Kingdom.