Trying to explain what has happened in this past month is like taking a beautiful painting and turning it black and white. Putting into words what has happened and is happening in my chest is impossible. My heart is been healed, soothed, sealed and broken into a million pieces. I have been on incredible highs, I have been in depths words cannot adequately explain. And it has only been a month. I feel if I were a good missionary I would gloss over the tough stuff and only tell you in mechanical terms laced with sugar and spice all the amazing things that are happening. At the right moment I would tell you about the starving kids or the naked babies. Finally I would conclude by asking you to continue in prayer and support. Maybe that is the way missionary letters are suppose to go, but I do not consider myself a missionary. I am simply a white American who fell in love with the children in Jubilee and happens to know God.
Have you ever seen a child go firefly catching? We use to go all the time as children in our front yard. We would catch them in our hands, put them in a jar and then run like hell to show the beauty of them off to whomever was willing to look in wonder. That is what I want to do with this place, these people. I am amazed at what God is doing here, despite the white skin lingering around. It is so beautiful that I wish I could capture it in a jar and run to show you all. Children are learning. Youvendjy, a 3 year old in my class who was extremely malnourished and saved from the brink of death, can now count to 6 and tell you what sound the letter A makes. Walk on our school porch on any weekday and you will hear the sounds of children reciting the alphabet or learning new blended sounds. In my kindergarden class my kids can tell you what makes a vowel different from a consonant. Mono can read in English. Kids are learning and succeeding in French class. And how I wish you could see the art work they make. Beauty is all around. Immense beauty that is beyond comprehension. New aspects to marvel at are revealed to me daily and continue to take my breath away. I am in a constant state of gasping for air and I would have it no other way.
What I am learning more than anything is that these kids are more starved for love than they are for bread. Considering their malnourished state you can only imagine what their hearts are like. They are hungry for love. That is something I can lavish on with little regard to spoiling them. As a community we are trying to walk out moving past the relief effort mentality and into the rehabilitation and development stages. It is difficult when it comes to things hunger but what we are really doing is denying ourselves the pride of being the solvers of problems. As Americans there is nothing more atrocious than to see a problem and not fix it. But we cannot “fix” this community, nor should be we be arrogant enough to try. Simply we are joining with them walk this out together. I see God is moving here and I have to be part of it.
There is more however. More than my desire to capture the essence of this place and run to show it off is my desire to keep it secret. To leave this place undisturbed and just sit back and watch God at work in his wonder. No thunderous stomping around saying ‘look at me and my good work’ but rather humbly sitting on the sidelines and simply watching the slow, steady hands of Pops, intently chipping away at this wooden block. Its finished products only imagined in his mind as he patiently chisels, wood shavings covering the ground beneath his feet. I want to sit beside him awing at his diligence and patience, knowing if I were to grab hold and try my hand I would mess it up in some way. Not envisioning the masterpiece quite like he has, and having no where near the skill, I must simply trust what he is doing. I have no choice but to learn to be content with this.