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Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Children's Day

June 1st is Children’s Day (a national holiday) in Mozambique and to honor the children and the day, I with a World Hope team visited a local primary school where we were greeted by around 300 children, including more than 50 orphans. Like flies on candy, I was swarmed by a huge group of the children. The girls were combing their fingers through my hair; the boys were rubbing the skin on my arms and legs; and I was being pulled in every direction.

Because of the school’s location, I assumedly began greeting the children in the mother tongue – Tsanga. They were laughing laughing laughing and a few began shouting out [in Portuguese,] “We speak Portuguese! We speak Portuguese!” What a relief! The extent of my Tsanga is: ‘Good morning!,’ ‘how are you?,’ ‘I’m good,’ ‘thanks,’ ‘women,’ and three songs.

I made a gracious attempt to greet each child and to ask their name, but it was difficult as they were pushing each other around to get closer to me. I was overwhelmed simply by the number of them! Then I was taken in by their joy and laughter – their eyes were big, and their smiles brilliant! I remember the names: Jose, Sergio, Domingas, Edwin, Laurinda, Maria, Mario, and many more!

Three groups of children performed dances for us – two were very cultural, and one was very [as one teacher referred to it]: ‘BET’ (Black Entertainment Television.) We gave mosquito nets to each teacher, each WHI committee member, and to the community leaders. I left feeling very loved and very thankful for the opportunity to be surrounded by 300 children, each craving my attention, and especially my touch. I'm anxious to get my videos uploaded!

Oh Jesus, thank you for the children! Thank you for the precious opportunity to touch each one, and to be touched by each one. Father God, thank you for creating each one in your image, and for giving each one life, and for having blessed plans for their lives. May they be cherished each day, not just June 1st. Protect each one by your hands, give each one health and safety. Jesus, care especially for the orphans, and may they know Your incredible love!

A few more pictures of children from throughout my trip:

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