God has blessed us to witness many miracles during our years of mission work in many different countries. Over the next couple of blogs, I will share some of these special stories.
One such miracle occurred some years back while we were working in Western Kenya. We had completed our orphanage and the grand opening was drawing near. We needed to decide how we would select the girls that would come to live at the home. We would have so many such decisions to make with the orphanages we opened in Kenyan and other countries. Sometimes those small details can be so daunting.
A process had to be developed on how to select the girls for the home because we could pick hundreds and there would still be more that needed our help. We also needed to make sure they felt at home as quickly as possible. It was soon decided that one of the first things we would do was to offer a meal to the child. This was picked as a first step for several reasons. One reason was because we never knew when the child ate their last meal so we wanted to make sure they were not hungry. We have discovered that when they are hungry, the child has a difficult time learning, listening or just understanding what is going on around them. Hunger to the point of malnutrition is debilitating to a child.
One day we got word of a child that needed our help. She was living in extreme poverty with a distant family member. Her name was Violet and she was 5 years old. It was decided she would be one of the children we would bring to the orphanage because we worried about her health and her long term survival in the current situation. Upon arrival, Violet was taken to the dining hall to eat. She was given a plate of food which she quickly devoured. She was given another plate that she also devoured. She was given another plate with the same result. After 5 plates of food, she finally stopped eating. These children have learned that when food is offered, you eat as much as humanly possible because you do not know when you will get your next meal. This is also expressed in an old Kenyan saying, “See a mango, eat a mango.” This is something that takes us a long time to undo in these children. We have to re-educate them to trust us and that they will get three meals a day, everyday and that we will not let them be hunger again.
Later on, as I ponder on the story of Violet, I realized something. Long before Violet was even born, God had planted the idea of building an orphanage in rural Kenya in our hearts and minds. We listened and obeyed God’s call on our life. God led us to build that orphanage so that Violet could be fed 5 plates of food on the day she arrived. God used us to build that orphanage before she was born to show His love for her at that special moment in time. It still causes me to pause and think of what God put into place to show just this one child how much He loved her. What then does He do in our lives to rearrange the whole world just to show us His love. Sometimes it is hard to grasp this kind of love. God loves you with a love so deep we can not fully understand it. He loves you and wants a relationship with you. All you have to do is accept is invitation.
Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”