Let the Little Children Come Unto Me and Do Not Forbid Them.
I didn’t know when I signed up to go as an intercessor for a medical team to Zambia that I would also be participating in a Vacation Bible School for over 200 village children. But, there I was way off the beaten path; an hour from the capitol city, Lusaka. After we turned off the “main” thoroughfare, we embarked upon an unkept, unnamed, “road” that was very primitive. In fact, as we bumped along in our 15 passenger VW-like bus, I thought of the cow trails in my daughter’s pasture in Southeastern Oklahoma that were much better than what we were traversing. Arriving at our assigned place of ministry, we were greeted by a couple of hundred dark-skinned, bright-eyed beauties; smiling and jumping up and down, I felt like a true celebrity. The truth being, however, was that most of these children and their parents had never seen a person with white skin and white hair. (probably kind of scary).
The building we used as our base was a stone and cinder block framed school/church. A church in Lusaka came and started the project four years ago. Then abruptly told the residents of village Kampassa that they would not be back. (Guess they didn’t count the cost) . Regardless, the walls of the building sans the roof were our sanctuary. It didn’t really matter to the children, they were ecstatic that people had come to teach them and give them a small portion of food for the day.
Our VBS ran from 9:00 to approximately 12 or 12:30. Then we would load up and start to the Hospital to be apart of the medical team that was making history doing the first pediatric cath’s ever in Zambia. I found my assignments at Kampassa to vary each day, but always, I heard the voice of the Lord very clearly.
By Thursday, the concluding day for our outreach to Kampassa, the children felt like my own and their mother’s my neighbors. Watching them sing and smile tugged so strongly on my heart, I prayed, “Father, I want so to give them something.” Tears filled my eyes as I waited for His response. Then , I heard Him : “Give them the blessing” Of course, the “Blessing of the Lord, in the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.” What could be better.
I reached out my hand and laid it on the closest head which was covered in beautiful “corn rows.” And just because, I closed my eyes and prayed out loud, “I bless you in the strong Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.” When I opened my eyes, I was surprised to see children lining up to receive “the blessing.” It took me a while to lay my hand on every head and pronounce the “blessing” but no one was in a hurry. So powerful, so beautiful, the Name of Jesus.
Finally, it was time to depart and I started for the passenger bus. I had not taken too many steps before one little boy planted himself right in front of me, blocking my way. I looked into his gorgeous black eyes and could not help myself, I stooped down and kissed him on the forehead. And that opened the floodgate! Now dozens of Kampassa kids surrounded me with an expectation of a kiss. Needless to say, I literally “kissed” my way to the waiting vehicle. Turning to wave goodbye, I caught a blur from the corning of my eye. One little girl, who had become as my shadow for the week, had taken a flying leap toward me. With both arms now around my neck she kissed me squarely on the mouth with great love and adoration. I held her close for just a few seconds and then she was gone. Gone from my sight but forever imprinted upon my heart.
So much like the Lord, it was through these simple encounters, that He showed me the basic needs of the human heart: blessing and love. We all desire to be blessed. We all long for that God-connection that assures us of our place in His family and a seat at His table. We all long for the love of the Lord to be imparted to us. That love that confirms we are unique and worthy of life . Truly, the love of God has been shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit in order that we may love others. It all starts with the Lord and ends with Him. His love His blessing. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Aleph and the Tav, the First and the Last. Let us not love in word only, but in word and deed. For they shall know us by our love. Amen.