"Please get out," he offered "the children would like to welcome you, sisters."
We exit the car as my feet meet this mountain dirt for the first time, I know this is a special place immediately. A handful of young girls pull forward from the rest, walking towards us with speechless joy and a bit of trepidation in their unsure eyes. In their hands they each carry a beautiful necklace made of real flowers stung together. As I bend down that this little one might place it over my neck, I have no words—no way of even beginning to replay this moment. As I rose up to my full stature, this little one, she bowed down and kissed my feet, all covered in black dirt. I don't know how else to hold back the tears but to girn. So I look into her innocent eyes and shine my white teeth, locking my eyes upon hers until she finally rises, mutters something quickly and then scurries back to the group.
My heart is humbled. Who am I? Just this selfish, prideful, rich, spoiled, materialistic, needy, comfortable American. Yet here is this little girl kissing my nasty, soiled feet. Oh Jesus, I am so unworthy. Yet still in your great mercy you love me enough to show me through this precious little one.
We continue to walk forward, deeper into the compound in this parade of over-joyed spirits and songs of praise. My eyes glimmering as I struggle to contain myself. Are we really here?? Jesus, is this home for more then a week or two?
The women standing outside the house in the back of the compound greet us with hard handshakes (something culturally unexpected from the women) and desperate joy engrained upon each and every wrinkle on etched upon their faces. As we near the doorway of the house, I see the wife of the home waiting. We greet her warmly and she receives us into her home immediately. She is beautiful and her gentleness indicative of her servant-hearted spirit from the moment we first meet. I long to know her deeply.
These people are radiant. Regardless of the amount of time the Lord allows me to spend here in this happy valley, my life is already messed up because of my time in this place, among these people so in love with you Lord. Thank you Jesus for brining me here.
"Those who look to the Lord are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame." ---Psalm 34:5.