|photo courtesy of visualbiblealive.com|
After a few boring days trapped on the wrong side of the river, the boys and girls were more than happy to walk a a little further.
The officer told me there would be a village two to three miles past the river. Once the children realized they would finally have food they sprang ahead. I could barely keep up with them!
When the first house came into view, I called the children together. "I know you're hungry and want to hurry to the homes, but we must be kind. The villagers don't know how far we've traveled. Use your best manners, and wait for me to speak to them first. Let's give them a reason to want to know Jesus, OK?"
I don't know how these children foundd twinkly smiles after all they'd been through, but they did.
The village elder met us at the gate. I think he must have been a grandfather because he opened his arms wide and hugged as many children as would fit, then he went to another group. Every child received a hug and a welcome from him.
He split the children into small groups and assigned them to houses in the village. Each family made a huge meal for their young guests. The village elder invited me to his home where he, too, serve a large meal.
I sat at his table and marveled at the food. He sipped some tea. "Many refugees have come through our village seeking a safe place to live. I don't know how, but we've had enough to share with each person who has visited, including your children."
I bowed. "The Lord has blessed you with extra food. And you have chosen to give it to those in need. Thank you for sharing with the children and me. We haven't had full stomachs for many days."
The village elder nodded. "Yes, I understand. We've heard the same story from each person traveling through our village."
A moment later several of my children ran from one home to the next. They shouted, "What did you get to eat?"
One answered, "bingsies", another answered "mientiao", another answered "rice cakes".
I waited until all the children came out to play in the streets to make sure each had eaten their fill. I must admit, it was nice to have a full stomach again.
I bowed to the elder. "Thank you for sharing with us. The people of your village have been most gracious." I faced the window. "Look at the children. They haven't had energy to play for days. Because you shared your food, they will be able to continue the journey to safety."
He smiled the same kind of twinkly smile I'd seen on my children.
I called the children together to continue our journey. We bowed to the villager. "Thank you."
So many faces we'd never seen before--most likely will never see again.
Yet God gave them extra to share with us.
When people are willing to share--God shows His Love though them.
That night we slept on our mats in a field. We looked at the stars and sang Bible songs until we fell asleep.
Thank you, Jesus.
P.S. God continued to give us opportunities to see Him work.
Next week I'll tell you about the policeman who wanted to arrest all the children.
**the food in the picture is from a restaurant in Beijing, China. thank you to Visual Bible Alive, once again for another wonderful photo from China.