When I was in Malawi, I had opportunity to do some kids ministry. In Karonga it was bit challenging, because I didn't have any adults with me that spoke english and those kids were so young that they havent't studied english yet. So, our communcation happend with hands, facial expression and any possible way besides speaking. There were some children that spoke few words english and I spoke few words chichewa, but it wasn't really helping us. I think that my profession helped me little bit, because when I was studying to be practical nurse, we were learning some ways to communicate without any words. So it was really interesting.
In Malawi, parents don't really have time to be with their children.
Parents are working all day long to get enough money so that they can buy food, pay rent and all the other things. Malawi is poor country and you see how it impacts to that small country. You see poverty everywhere. People are really skinny, expecially now when there is famine. Houses where people are living, are looking really bad.. It looks like they can crash down any minute. Last week I received message that it really happened in one village just because of strong rains. Anyways, I wasn't supposed to speak about poverty, but about what I was doing with kids.
When you are with those children, you see how much they need love.. Love that they don't receive from their parents because they are always gone. Children wants you to notice them.
. Not as a mass, but as a individual persons. And that's how God wants it to be. He created all of us to be individuals, so that is the way we should see ourselves and others. About one year ago God was speaking to me through some pictures from Malawi. I need to be honest and tell that before that I was looking Africans as a humanmass, but now God started to show me how everyone is special in the way they are and how I should see them as individuals. That is what I saw people were yearning in Malawi.. They wanted me to notice them, see them as special people, so that is how I wanted it to be!! I was teaching (that time I had translator) them about their identity and how God loves them, it was amazing to tell them how God loves them and knows them by their names! It was awesome to see their faces when they were all excited and how they started to realise how they really are special!! But I knew that it's not only by words how we make them feel specials.
. It's also through acts. So I gave my time to them, we played together, we took pictures, we walked together to some river.. We went to swim together, we were doing some things from modelling clays. One time there was one bigger boy doing some harm to this one small girl by stealing some of her things. I remember how we all were looking that guy so that we would get all the things back. When we saw him, one bit bigger girl took the things and then I was "preaching" to that guy how he was doing wrong and how he needed to ask forgiveness. That's how it works, everyone WORKS TOGETHER.
I realised that God also wanted me to comfort, to encourage and to make people happy. I want to share one story with you.. There was this one girl (maybe 10years old).
Her name in english means "PROBLEMS". She was living with her mother. Her father had left them and her 7 older siblings had died before she was born, that's how she got her name. She was borned to be a problem, or that's how her mom thought. But this girl.. Everyday I saw her sweeping the ground before the house, I saw her washing the clothes and making food.. And when she was with other children, she was taking care of the younger once. If someone started to cry, she was the first one to comfort that smaller. She was everything else than a problem.Her mother made money for them by making local beer and selling it to the older guys. Those guys were always hanging out in the backyard of their house, they were loud and drunk.. But this girl, she was amazing, or she is.
They didn't have enough money to send her to school, but she was still full of life. She wasn't loud like the others.. No, she was more like tender and shy. And sometimes I noticed that other kids where making fun out of her.. Then I realised that I need to make her feel special.. I noticed her more than the other girls and I wasalways trying to make contact to her so that she could feel how I'm interested about her. One night I couldn't stand any longer when others where teasing her because of her name. I asked from one guy what "Peace" is in their language.. He told me that it's "Mutendele". So then in front of everyone I told that this girl is no longer "problems", she is "Mutendele". The reaction was more that I was waiting! Other children stoped teasing her and that girl.
. She was just smiling and she was repeating that name to herself.. She was happy. On the next day I was just passing her home and I saw her mother.. Her mother was looking me with smile on her face and she sayed "Mutendele".. I was just smiling back. Then I saw that girl and I asked her (through translator) that did you told your mom about me giving you a new name? And she said yes. I asked if her mom liked it.. She was smiling to me with shy face, she put her hands to her faces and I could hear small voice saying me: "Yes". Her mother liked that name and was more than happy that someone saw something good about her child.. Now instead of saying "problems", they call her "Mutendele- Peace".:)