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What Compels Me.

Rain falls strong on the tin roof of our little home here in Africa. I’m looking out the window from the rest of my mosquito net enveloped bed. The pitch black sky and rolling thunder suddenly reaches a crescendo and the sky breaks into gentle shades of pink. 

Not 50 feet from where I now sit is the iron gated entrance to the little primary + kindergarten my team and I have had the privilege to work at/with for the last week. If you were to enter the gates with us in the morning, you would be greeted by an assembly of 50 young children in front of the school, stirring up the red dust with their rhythmic stomping and singing. The clanging of a bell ushers each set of little feet into one of the three kindergarten classes. 

I now find the sound compels me too. Compels me to a new day. Compels me to my continue my vision. Compels me to new experiences waiting just over the brink of my hesitation.

There is so much joy here! These people have so little in the way of material objects, but their joy in the Lord is incomprehensible. 

For example, John and Molly. Oh man, I smile even as I write their names. Those two have a little tin building next to the kindergarten building that serves as the school’s kitchen. As they are enveloped in the smoke from the open cooking fires, they are constantly laughing with each other; conversing in the local language, Luo. Their eyes are constantly squinting because of the constant exposure to the heavy smoke, but I always see a glimmer of laughter in those half-exposed ebony eyes. Both are so incredibly welcoming and loving with my teammates and me. I wanted to learn how to make the meals so familiar to the kids of this school (beans and posho), so I asked if I could help. John gave a cackle and pulled me into the smoky little kitchen. He pulled out the equivalent of a canoe paddle to stir the 25 gallon boiling pot of ground maize and water. As it cooks, it becomes like bread. As I struggled + muscled through stirring the thick mess, John laughed and laughed. I couldn’t help but chuckle. He and Molly serve those kids twice a day with an overcoming joy. They defy their circumstances with a beautiful, graceful happiness. 

Then there’s Lisa…..oh that child…..she has the gentlest spirit you will ever come across and a grace uncommon in a girl of 5. You can go to her any time of the day and ask, “How are you?” and she’ll look up with laughing brown eyes and smiling say, “I’m fine.” She wants to be included in everything. If her teacher needs a student for an example she always has her hand waving in the air. She wants to be a part of every activity and every moment of the day, but she was born lame. In five years, she hasn’t ever been able to walk on her own. She has the passion, but not the power. This kid had inspired me in so many ways. I’ll sit and talk with her and every word that she says is seeping with optimism. Lightforce, our missions host, has started a kids home and plans to take Lisa and her older sister Molly (who carries her to school everyday) under their wing. I have so much more I can say, but for now I say goodbye.

Opoyo, friends!

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