I spend most of my day at work with kids. The morning is still, but around noon, the students are released for lunch. The rest of my day is filled with children wandering in and out of the office, puzzles on my desk, lesson questions, chalk drawings, thumb wars, and demands to take photos on my camera.
I realized very soon after my arrival to the Greta Home and Academy that I would learn more from these kids than they would learn from me.
These students have been through unimaginable circumstances that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. But despite their pasts, I have seen glimpses of their hope. They are learning about Jesus every day, and they get to experience family from the fellow children and staff members at the home and academy.
Of course, they’re still children. They fight with each other, can’t sit still in class, and break things, but there’s so much to learn in those things. They teach me grace, patience, and love in a way I’ve never experienced before. It brings me joy to think about how Jesus delights in these children, and then I’m reminded that He delights in me the same way.
In the beginning, the largest struggle for me was the language barrier. The difficulty with the lack of knowledge of Creole showed me the importance of words. I’ve always known words are important, but now I have a new appreciation for conversation and its ability to bring people together. Through this experience, I’ve also learned firsthand that building relationships is not limited to words.
One day after work, I went for a run down the beach outside the compound. Just when I was about to turn around to run back, I noticed a small soccer game with local kids. After a few minutes of contemplation, I ran up to the mud field. At first the kids were confused, but they soon began playing with me.
This soccer game reminded me that we serve the God who has no limitations, not even with language. It’s easy for me to doubt my capabilities here. It would be easy to accept defeat with sharing God’s love since we can’t speak Creole. But God’s love is more than our words; it’s shared through actions.
I pray that those kids got a taste of love from my laughter and high-fives when they scored on me. That game reminded me that God’s love truly has no boundaries. He can use any situation, conversation, or action for His glory. We only have to be willing to run in and go for it when an opportunity presents itself to share that love.
The Samaritan’s Purse internship program is an opportunity for college students and recent graduates to use their skills to impact the world in a tangible way. Find out more here.