The mission field can be a very rewarding place - especially when you get to witness God's hand at work.
And sometimes...it is a place where God chooses to bless us in a very special way!
Last weekend we went to the village of Matunda. We had a great time sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We found success in our teaching and we witnessed many who made sincere professions of faith. While this was a blessing that insured the weekend to be a great success for the Kingdom...there was a little something extra in it for me. As soon as I got out of my vehicle, I started hearing little voices shouting "Mukuwa....Mukuwa...Mukuwa!" I looked up and 3 little children came running up to me and jumped up into my arms. All they could say was "Mukuwa...Mukuwa...Mukuwa". These children were from the Lozi tribe where the word "Mukuwa" means "White Man". We could not speak each others language, but I learned what Mukuwa means and they used that word a thousand times throughout the weekend to communicate a very special love for me. A love, by the way, that I DID NOT deserve! Any time I was outside the church, they would come running to me and climb all over me with the most tender love a child can muster. They laughed and laughed and laughed and continued repeating "Mukuwa...Mukuwa...Mukuwa" while they grabbed both of my legs...touched my face and my beard and the hair on my arms...and hugged me so tight as I tried to move about from place to place. Following the last service of the weekend we were asked to stand outside the church doorway as each person came by - singing an upbeat praise song shaking our hands in appreciation as they filed out the door. When the little girl in white came out, she stood right next to me wrapping both arms around my leg as I continued to shake the hands of the people as they came by.
From the minute I arrived until the minute I drove away, these children watched me - they hugged me and laughed with me - or they watched from a distance smiling at me from ear to ear. These children would just not let me alone...but was I complaining? No Way! I was smitten by these children. They reminded me so much of my grandchildren - the ones who are too far away to reach out and touch. How much I long to hold them and to feel their love returned to me. A man dreams of days when his children or his grandchildren come running up for that "Great Big Bear Hug" - the kind of hug and laughter that comes from an innocent child that is full of love and joy...and so eager to share it. It reminds me of the love we read about in the Bible - that childlike love that comes form innocence. The kind of love the Lord wants to share with us...and us with Him. The kind of love I found that day in the village of Matunda...from those 3 little children whose voices I can still hear today...calling out to me..."Mukuwa...Mukuwa...Mukuwa"!
..................... A love,by the way, that I DO NOT deserve!
I woke up one day and discovered God wanted me to quit what I was doing for me...and start doing something for Him.