I have just returned home from a 10 day trip to Burkina Faso, Africa. I saw hunger, disease, hope, joy, generosity. I felt hot, dusty, thirsty, loved, appreciated, encouraged, hospitality, inspired. I was filled with heart-breaking experiences that consumed my heart with compassion. I wish I could put it into one simple post and tell you what what all this means. But I cannot.
Couldn’t go a Sunday morning without hanging out and singing with children! As we walked back out to our camp after morning worship at the Bible school church, the children followed us. They were not shy about wanting to be with us.
These kids were very much like the kids at Clay Church! But instead of high fives and hugs, it was common for them to want to shake our hands. Once one would approach us then they would all start coming! They would crowd around us, reaching their hands out. Sometimes you’d see them come back two or three times!
We usually said, “Bonjour!” while shaking those little hands and occasionally a, “Hello!” And I always tried to make eye contact. No matter where in the crowd they were, and especially if they were toward the back of the crowd, reaching over everyone. I wanted to make sure they were recognized, acknowledged, and affirmed. I wanted them to see a love that couldn’t be understood through the language barrier. And I wanted them to feel special. And many, many times I received a smile back.
What was fun about these little ones was that they were eager to mimic just about anything you said or did. If you encouraged them with a smile or some clapping or some dancing, they were right there with you! If you started a song…they joined in.
I began to sing a FaithWorks! song called “Forever and Ever” that we sing at ECP (Early Childhood Programs) on Tuesday mornings. It’s a simple repeat-after-me-type song, that we sang pretty slow, and the kids soon became a part of FaithWorks! East! Even though they had no idea what they were singing, they had no trouble following along!
I hope the tune stays with them, because when we sing it on a Tuesday I’m still humming it on Wednesday! And may God have written this meaning on their sweet, little hearts:
God made me;
And He loves me.
And He wants to be
Forever and ever!!
And well, I think you’ll enjoy seeing them dance, too!