9.03.2011

Precious Stories from Week 1

I tiptoed quietly down the hall into her room and carefully made my way until I found her bed. While finding her small body laying on the bed I climbed in behind her and snuggled up close. Her face was in her pillow trying to control her tears so that she wouldn't wake the other girls in the room. I gently kissed her forehead and starting rubbing her back. 
Her tears became less frequent and I could tell just how exhausted she was. As I lay beside her fighting back my own set of tears I continually prayed over her. I could tell she was embarrassed and hurt at first because when I snuggled in beside her she slightly moved away. As the minutes passed by her little body relaxed into mine. When her tears stopped and I could tell she was asleep, I left the room with my own set of fresh tears on my face. After being here for only a few days- how could I love a child so much that her pain makes me hurt so deep.




"Auntie Maddie, do you think my mom loves me?"
"Yes, I'm sure she does. And you know that Jesus loves you so very much and so do I."
"Than why hasn't she called me? I know that she has her phone on her and she knows the number I called from."
My heart stopped and I asked the Spirit to speak words through me, like He promises in his word that He will. When no words came to mind I grabbed her beautiful little hands and folded them into mine and started praying that she would feel God's love and that her mother would call. Later that evening the house auntie's phone rang and it was her mother finally calling back. The conversation lasted less than a minute (which broke my heart) but during that time I got to experience more JOY from this girl than other person I have met before. There was no way you could wipe that smile off of her precious face all night. Someone cared enough to call her - she felt loved.




I was sitting on the front porch exhausted after playing yet another game of soccer when a car pulled up to the gate and a man walked forward. The gate had been left open so he started walking into the yard of the boarding houses. As I pulled my sweater tighter to me I decided to get up and introduce myself- see who this man was and what/who he needed. Before I could stand up, one the smallest boys at the boarding house bolted across the yard. I got to watch him run full tilt into this man's arms as he jumped on him into a perfect 4 point hug. His precious little body wrapped perfectly around his fathers body as he kissed his father on the cheek. Tears filled my eyes as I walked away, trying to not look like a basket case in front of this boy and his father. What a incredible picture to watch. As his father tried to let him down he fought to stay clung to his Daddy. His father had come to make sure he had something to wear for Spring Day (September 1st- celebrated in South Africa). When this little boy shook his head yes, his father let him down gave him a hug and walked out the gate. 




"Congratulations on winning Miss Spring my dear. You were so great up there!"
"Auntie Maddie, can I tell you something?"
"Of course." She climbed onto my lap never loosing eye contact. 
"When I won, I was so happy I cried. Is that ok?"
I tried to hold back my smile and kissed her on the forehead. 
"You were crying happy tears and that is more than alright"
" So do you think I am beautiful?"
I paused once again this time showing my smile. 
" You are made in God's image and he thinks you are so beautiful, whether you won the contest or not. But yes, I think you are so beautiful. God made you perfect."
She seemed satisfied with that answer and ran off to chase some of the boys down who had a deflated soccer ball. I captured that moment in my mind and ran off to find my bible as I started looking for passages about inner beauty and the Lord looking at the heart..these verses I read to the girls before tucking them into bed that evening.


 When I first got the boarding house I told the children that I am here for them to talk to me about anything- they need to feel free to come to me whenever. Yesterday I kissed some of the boys on the head and told them that I loved them. What would a typical boy aged 8-12 do when a girl kissed him? Run away of course! I started chasing these 5 wonderful boys hoping to catch them and kiss them all over. They screamed and giggled as we ran around the yard- I could just picture God smiling down at us, laughing with us and sharing our joy.Once I caught the boys and kissed them they would sprint off hoping I would be behind them chasing them once more. When I was exhausted from running around and sat down on the dry grass the disappointment in their faces started to settle in. They wanted more loving, they wanted to be chased and they wanted someone to play with them. They thought it was so funny to be running around the yard away from me but I quickly learnt that they so wanted to be caught and "kissed all over". Before the disappointment settled onto their faces for too long I said a silent prayer for the Lord to give me strength and started chasing after them once again. 



I say a prayer every morning (and many many many many times during the day) for a worship song.
The prayer is "all of my ambitions hopes and plans, I surrender these into Your hands." Every day I want to constantly surrender ALL my ambitions, ALL my hopes for this year and ALL my plans for my life into my all knowing Saviour.  Do you know how hard that is?!?! O my it has been the hardest week of my life. I have given God control over my life before, but I have never had to rely on him like I have to here in South Africa. I can't get through the day without being in constant conversation with the Lord. Every time I cry (which has been daily this past week) my heart immediately starts singing worship songs, ensuring that the praise goes to Jesus and that Satan knows he has no business in my life.

This past month, I have given God complete control over me life, my decisions, my hopes, my plans and my fears. Let's just say He has taken FULL advantage of the opportunity to mould me into his likeness. It has been the most painful and tender process I have ever gone through but the most humbling and beautiful one at the same time. God's love is so deep for his children (you!) that he desires and takes time to mould us and teach us. It has been such a blessing to just be in constant conversation with the Lord- something that I didn't know could even happen until arriving in South Africa. I know this process will continue and that it will be painful but I know that I am coming out a stronger more beautiful women of the Lord and that is all I'm living to be so bring on the tears Lord-  I'm ready!

I had asked for prayer that I would physically feel God's loving arms around me. I don't know how to explain this or put it into words but I have felt exactly that. Not only did God answer my (our) prayer he answered it abundantly. I'm not sure who reads my blog and I am so impressed if you've read this far already but if you don't have a relationship with God you won't really understand this paragraph but I want to let you know that I have physically felt God's love this week. I also know that God's heart is to show you his love in an intimate way. He is already showing his love for you through creating the world and nature- something I have taken for granted time and time again. Prayer works. I am living proof that God hears prayers and answers in HIS time, not mine. God can see the whole picture, and we can only see the here and now.. I have to continue to remember that.

I had a lovely birthday and two birthday cakes. It was a bitter sweet birthday but a birthday none the less. I met my host family yesterday evening and they had a wonderful meal all ready for me! I am so blessed to have FRUIT in their house.. the food at the boarding house has been less than adequate. Anyways they have internet which is the reason I can blog to you- so expect weekly blogs from me:)

Please continue to pray for me. I know it's working:)
Also would you pray for my 18 children!! (yes, they feel like my children and that bond will only get stronger as the year progresses) These children just want to be loved and want to show love.

Keep reading my blog because I'm sure there will be ways and things I will be asking from you to show these kids that they are loved!

xo

Maddie

3 comments:

  1. Mads, I am so blessed by reading your blogs. I know that God has you in the right place and at the right time...you are just the one for those children, to love on them and pray for them and encourage them! I love you so much too, and know that God is strengthening yours and His relationship through all of this. Keep strong, keep communicating with Him, keep praising Him through song -- it is truly powerful! And we`ll keep praying and lifting all of you into His hands. Thinking of you often! Missing you often! Yet, resting in the reality of where He has you, for His great purposes! Love ya, Gillian

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  2. Dear Maddie,
    I saw your mom at church this morning and had a little chat with her. She was wearing a gorgeous outfit and looked her beautiful self!
    When I inquired about you, she mentioned to me that you have a blog and that I should check it out. I must have missed your little notice in the bulletin but she directed me to it and...
    Voila! I found you!
    I wanted to leave you with a comment because I know from personal experience that:
    "As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country."
    Proverbs 25:25
    As much as your adjustment will have its challenges, God is stretching you in amazing ways and you are discovering that apart from Him, you can do nothing.
    He truly is your all in all!
    You continue to be in our prayers, with much love and interest in your life in South Africa.
    Joanne from all of us here in Drayton

    P.S. We were just listening to that song "all of my ambitions hopes and plans, I surrender these into Your hands" by Robin Mark on our way home from the Niagara area tonight...love it!

    P.S.S. The happiest of birthdays to you with God's love poured out on you so that you can share it with others:)

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  3. Hi Maddie
    We just wanted to wish you a belated very happy Birthday! What a different one it must have been!!
    We just got back from a week out east after Kevin & Natalie's wedding.
    We love your blog and pray for you every day.
    You are a special young lady doing a very special task!! May God richly bless you and the children every day!
    "but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
    They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint" Isaiah 40:31
    Lots of love and hugs
    Aunt Jayne and Uncle Peter

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