The children tumble out of the houses singing, at the Villages of Hope orphanage, and tumble their way in to my heart. They gather together in the meeting place, before walking to school.Mouths and hearts open, voices raised. No instruments necessary. Making music in the key note of gratitude and joy. Prayer follows.
“Father, thank you for bringing me here to this place,” one child calls out to the One Who Saves.
There is no shadow of sorrow in the faces of these children at the Villages of Hope, only joy and confidence in the provision of their Father in Heaven.
I pause long before walking with my teammates and the children to school, taking a deep breath in, I try to gather a response.I question myself.
Or is it the Spirit speaking?
“Am I truly content or am I discontent where God has placed me, in my every day? Is my faith this strong? Do I project gratitude and joy? When was the last time I thought of His Saving Grace?”
I feel a small presence next to me. Soft, brown, beautiful, gentle fingers knit their way through mine. She sandwiches a handwritten note between her palm and mine. I read it.
“Dear Auntie, I love you so, so much. I am happy that you came. From Mary J to you.”
I look down into deep cocoa colored eyes. She smiles. She does not hesitate to love. She walks quietly alongside me on the dirt road to school, holding tight. We talk a little where language allows, but mostly, we enjoy each other’s company.
I miss Africa. I miss the children at the Villages of Hope, Zambia.
I am back now -- out of Africa and back in to life in Wisconsin and writing.
Please join me once again, as I hope to encourage you in life and the Lord, through my stories of Africa and more.