So, I guess it’s kind of a thing that when I go to Rwanda I do something to make everyone laugh at me. 8 years ago, it was getting my shoe stuck in the mud and having like hundreds of Rwandans laughing at me. I remember laughing so hard half from being embarrassed and half from it being funny.
This time was just as memorable. One of the girls from our group was cleaning up our plates for us, and at one point we told her not to serve us anymore because we wanted to be able to serve them. I saw another girl cleaning the table, and as I was taking plates to the table that held the used plates I told her to go back and join her group. Now I was not speaking her language, and she said that she wanted to help. I told her that I wanted her to enjoy, and for some reason, as I guided her she went to sit in my seat (which confused me).
I asked our translator if she was part of our group and he said he didn’t know. The girls at our table were giggling, and I’m wondering what was so funny. So after our night was complete our translator asked her why she was sitting with us. She said she didn’t know but that I had told her to come. Well, come to find out that she was part of the kitchen staff. To say were we all laughing was an understatement. Thank God for grace, because she laughed with all of us.
Laughing. It is part of a child’ life.
Some of the trip, we wanted to stay on the street and play with the children, but we had places we needed to be. Some people have said that it is almost like the little Rwandan kids see us as celebrities, but to me it is like when my son see a train. He gets so excited for trains. His face lights up and he will yell Train, train, train.
When the little kids that we pass on the street see people from the U.S. they yell Muzungu, Muzungu! Translation on that = “white people”. It was a bit heartbreaking when we couldn’t spend time with them sometimes. But at one point we had about 50 kids waiting for us to play with them. At one point I was probably surrounded by like 20 of them and they were asking me questions, We had just done a house visit, and our team leader, Mike and I were discussing the Bible verse where Jesus says to let the little children come to him. So our team leader turns to me and says Ready? We knew exactly what he was talking about without him saying it, so I said Yup, and we all began running down a dirt road, that turned into a big hill. The kids were quick to follow in response with joyous smiles on their face.
But then there is the importance of the faith of a child. We were rehearsing a skit in our
group. Our assignment was to make up a story about one of the Fruits of the Spirit without using words. My part was being someone who was sad, and a little boy was to come up to me and share with me scripture to help uplift me. Well as we were practicing he prayed for me as well. Our translator said that the little boy asked God to heal my troubled heart, and to take away my tears. Well that began the flow of tears, because this little boy maybe 8, couldn’t have known that my heart has been troubled for a while, and that the tears have come too easy.
Then as we were leaving we wanted to say goodbye to one of the little boys in our group. He was troubled. Not only was he shy, but you could tell that he carried some kind of pain. He wore the same clothes everyday. He barely looked you in the eye and when you talked to him, he usually didn’t answer. Our hearts melted for him. When we went to say goodbye to him we all cried, but when Mike knelt down to hug him Mike broke down into tears.
The little boy took Mike’s face in his hands and whispered something. We didn’t understand what he said, but later on the translator said that he told Mike Be strong.
These little children didn’t know us, but their words mattered. Their lives matter. Their childlike faith mattered.
Laughing, joy, faith. Things that can come so simple to a child, that we can make so complicated.
Jesus tells us that unless we turn from our sins and become like a child, we will never enter the kingdom of heaven. He tells us that we need to humble ourselves like a little child.
There is something about being a child that carries confidence, joy, and expectancy. There is an innocence about children that is to be sought after. And a faith in a child that believes and hopes with certainty that their Father loves them and will provide for them.
Do you know that you are a child of God? I do, but sometimes I can forget.
He is a good Father. And He chose you as His child before you were born. He was the first One to see you as you were being formed. He loves you. He cares for you. He delights in you. He has joy in loving you.
Because of this, we can have a hope for the future, despite our circumstances, because our Father deeply loves us. Jesus says let the children come to Him. That means I can come to Him like a child.
Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.