These are the BIG questions I've been asking myself during this super busy season when I spend most days running from place to place on base, frustrated by all the tiny details, annoyed when things don't go my way, writing lists and checking off the important things each day, all to make it home in time for my head to hit the pillow just to do it all over again tomorrow.
The last 4 weeks, we have been going out into the community every Tuesday on medical outreach. I will share some experiences/pictures from these days in another post. But before I do, I want to share with you what one of our center youth said to me yesterday. We arrived at our location, a small children's center (home to about 20 children) run by one of our Iris Ministries pastors. We all piled out of the car where I'll be honest I was a little car sick and immediately were met by many children most of them up to my waist or a bit higher. But, I gravitated to the ones who were closer to knee or thigh height. In less than a minute I had hugged several and had one on my hip. As I toted him across the sand over to where everyone was standing, one of the boys from our center who is 19 and was with us to help with translation looked at me and said, "You love little kids don't you?" I looked up and said, "Yes." I was thinking to myself...of course I do, why else would I have uprooted my life and moved to Africa to live at a children's center. He looked at me and said, "At the center whenever I look across the playground and see a missionary holding a child or carrying a baby somewhere, I always think, oh that's Mana Meghann. You always have a child or baby with you."
On the surface not a very profound statement. But, I don't know this youth personally. He is one of my gardeners but this is my 7th gardener in my time here...in my 4th house. I've given up trying to get to know them. I've given up attempting to get to know the youth because they are rarely sick. They ALL know my name and sadly I still couldn't pick most of them out of a line up. Not true, I know their faces. I know who lives here and who doesn't, I just can't keep all of their names straight...and it's a bit too late to start asking and learning because as I said, they already know me.
So a boy I have barely had a conversation with previously was able to label me as the missionary who is always holding a child. I was blown away. Some days I feel like I have run all day and missed the point...loving the child in front of me. But I was reminded that somewhere in the midst of my stress and my to do lists...God is shining through. His love and passion in me is being seen! Within minutes after this simple conversation, this photo was taken of me...