These last couple of days were full of ministry to older groups of people in Tzaneen. We preached a group sermon at a Sunday church, went to a few public schools and connected with the older students, and even went to a nursing home. We also experienced an African service, of which we had no clue that we were going to; talk about going with the flow! The pastor called us up for testimonies and preaching, and we arrived thinking that we were handing out food and clothes to the community! Although the ministry this last week was great, there is still one moment that has stuck out to me from this trip, and it comes from a feeding program a couple weeks ago.
Eleven of us spilled out of an eight passenger van after endeavoring a long, washed out road. Trips in the van are always interesting, especially depending on who is driving. Sitting shoulder to shoulder, we even have to throw a person or two into the very back and pray that we don’t crash. Anyway- we spilled out of the van and began to help set up the feeding program. The jobs with the food were already taken, so I sat under the shelter waiting for kids to arrive. It didn’t take long for them to start trickling out of the bush (literally- there was only one road to come in, and I saw only a couple that walked on it!). Naturally, everyone on the team found that one special kid or started a fun game or activity with a group of them.
I was standing alone, when a little girl ran up to me. She stood at my feet until I picked her up. “What’s your name?” I asked, not necessarily expecting a response or being able to pronounce her name if she did respond. No response. So I said, “Well, my name is Kayla. How old are you?” She wrapped her arms around me, kissed me on the cheek, smiled, and said, “Mama Kay!” I probably glared at her on accident, because it took me a minute to comprehend what she had said. Throughout the rest of the feeding program she continued to trail behind me and give me hugs.
Moments like this one are how I know that I am called to do what God has called me to do. That little girl stole my heart and inspired me to be “Mama Kay[la]” to those who don’t have moms and dads, which might have been this little girl's situation! I will never know her name or see her again, but she will always have that piece of and spot in my heart. Who knew that something so little and simple, could be so precious and life changing. I love that little girl, and if I came to Africa just to spend those few moments with her, then it was all worth it.
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