“And you know what? We can talk to God. We just have to close our eyes like this (he closes his eyes) and start talking to Him. We can tell Him everything. He can help us with anything.”
One night at devotions, I sat in a gazebo and listened to 50 orphaned children belt out some familiar swahili chorus’. I was sitting on a bench and looked up to my right only to see Mercy. I watched her clap her hands, sway back and forth, and sing aloud with all her heart. Those familiar tears welled up in my eyes again. I was moved with compassion for her. I didn’t know where she came from or what had happened in her life. I didn’t know what her dreams were. I didn’t know what she was good at. I didn’t know her favorite colour or her favorite food. But I fell instantly in love with her. Compassion overwhelmed my heart once again.
As I sat beside her, I wondered how I could show her how much I loved her. How do I put this love and compassionate heart that God has given me into action? How do I move with compassion?
One night, I was in her room (that she shares with 11 other girls) when I noticed that she was feeling a bit down. She was lying on her bed watching the other girls dance and play around the room. I asked if everything was ok and she said that she was fine. I then overheard her telling her friend that she had a cold. I simply reached over and started to rub her back.
This time, tears welled up in her eyes.
At that moment I could tell that she knew that I loved her.
At that moment, tears welled up in both eyes.
This is a picture of Mercy (left) and I 4 years later. I have been to Kenya every year since then. Most recently, I spent 10 months in Kenya serving with Africa Inland Mission. I have gone to visit Mercy 8 times. I am so excited to see the girl that she will grow up to be. I am excited as I watch her learn to move in the ways of the Lord. I am excited that she is one of my best friends.
I am heading back to Kenya in a few short months.
I am still moving with compassion.