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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Irashmo: The Boy I Can't Forget

During Summer 2010, I spent two months living and ministering on the coast of Mozambique at the Wesleyan Bible College in Xai Xai. At 7:00am sharp, I arrived at the Bible school for the conclusion of breakfast. The students went to various classes and I spent my mornings ALONE with 12 beautiful children between the ages of 1 and 6, with whom I only have fond memories.  With only 3 beach balls, various sticks and rocks, and a few broken plastic cups, we played hours and hours and hours.  They had the most fun riding on my back or spining circles in my arms; I had the most fun cuddling, rubbing their soft skin with my fingers, and capturing mental pictures of their big smiles.

Video of a precious moment with my crianças:

During the afternoons and early evenings, I spent my time with the Bible college students - teaching and learning, talking and laughing, dancing and singing, eating and working. I cannot tell you what I enjoyed the most because I truly LOVED every single minute I spent at the Bible College (except when we had shima for lunch;) but I can tell you one thing: one little baby boy stole a large piece of my heart - a piece that will never let anyone else or anything else in.

His name was Irashmo.

From day one, snotty-nosed Irashmo was my favorite of the children in the creché. There is this common disbelief that we aren't supposed to have favorites, which I suppose stems from the truth that everyone should be treated equally. Nonetheless, Mo was my favorite.

He smiled big [but not for the camera,] sung loud, and cried a lot. Like his sister Maria, he is a cry baby and was bullied a lot by João and the others because the kids knew Mo would react in a big way. He would scream "maaamaaa" and run into my arms with crocodile tears running down his dark, soft cheeks. He was also very forgiving, because João was his best friend. Mo loved bubbles and every morning he would put grab my bag and ask, "balão?" (balloon) in his endearing, squeaky voice. He also loved riding on my back, or swinging in my arms, and he was very jealous when I did either of those two things with another child, especially João. That's why I was often seen like this:

Irashmo and João

Irashmo and Japhete (another boy who has a special place in my heart)

Gabriele, Maria, Timoteo, João, and Irashmo

Irashmo at front, with friends

I don't know why, but God will not let me forget this boy.  He brings him to mind almost daily, and I go to sleep thinking and dreaming about him: the softness of his skin, the glow in his eyes, the joy in his smile, and his precious voice (so squeaky and unique.)  I do not know if I will ever be blessed to see him again - to embrace him again - but until then, I will continue praying for Irashmo and for his parents, Isak and Mama Sala.

My sweet Irashmo
May God protect you, as He protected Daniel.
May He give you a heart of love, like David; a spirit of power, like Elijah; and courage, like Esther.
May He make you wise, like Solomon; devoted, like Hosea; forgiving, like Joseph; a leader, like Moses; an encourager, like Barnabas; and patient, like Job.

His sweet hand; I never wanted to let go... eventually I had to.
That hand is almost two years bigger now, and it still has a strong grip on my heart.

With tears in my eyes, 


Kay said...

What a precious boy...and what a beautiful memory for you. Hoping you can both meet again. : )

David C Brown said...

May he have the faith of Abraham!

Suzanne Howell said...

Jewel! So beautifully written. I know that the Lord has a special plan for that little boy, and part of His plan was to have you meet him and love on him, and and even greater reason, that you could pray for him! I know that the Lord specifically did that for Phil and I at the orphanage in Guatemala. Although we pray for all of the children, the Lord laid individual children specifically on our hearts. I love your heart sweet friend!