It occurred to me today that I don’t talk about
I think that’s mostly due to the fact that I got so fed up with people bringing back pitiful stories of how the people were so desolate andhopeless, and as Americans it is our responsibility to feel sorry for them. My criticism of those ‘testimonies’ influenced my desire to share MY experience there, when it should have sparked an even stronger desire to speak of the people, the land, and the heart. I owe it to Joseph, Esther, Prossy, the Wolof people, Terah, Deborah, Barbara, Simon, Rose, Peace, Faith, Maureen, the hospital patients, the prisoners, and the churches. These precious people deserve to have their story told, and as I have the means to tell it, it is my responsibility to open my mouth. With me keeping silent, for my selfish, foolish reasons, I am discrediting who they are, and what God has done in me and shown me through them.
Father, forgive me.
Joseph-the most beautiful baby boy I have ever laid eyes on. When all the other children came rushing forward to mob us upon every arrival, this sweet one was left peeking around the doorway, too timid to assume any of my team would want to love on him. It was this bashful demeanor that drew me to him instantly. It just took one glance for me to fall in love with this boy, and after throwing my arms around him he grabbed my hand and didn’t let go for the next week and a half. As we explored the orphanage grounds, something about Joseph caught my attention: content and good natured as he was, he rarely ever had a smile on his dear little face. This troubled me, and I wondered what was going on behind the scenes to inflict such a somber personality in this innocent child. The true testament of the joy of the Lord played out as on one of the last days of our trip, I witnessed Joseph doubled over in sweet, untainted laughter as I discovered his most ticklish spot. Tears of joy rushed down his face until they met what I will always remember to be one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen: the most striking and gigantic smile a boy that size could muster.