I have many favorites during out time in Malawi, and this day is certainly a favorite.
In Malawi there are many children that dig through trash at the dump looking for food for them and their family. Last year Elizabeth decided that she wanted to host a group of these boys instead of having a farewell meal with other people. So Chifundo found a group of these boys (12 of them) and invited them to our house for a meal and fellowship.
He told them the day before to bathe so that they were clean. To wear their best clothes. And the details of when he would get them. When he picked them up, other people yelled to the boys that we wanted to steal them, or take them away and take their blood, etc. Crazy. But they told the people they knew this man and it was fine.
They arrived shy. But once we brought out the soccer ball, their apprehension melted away. I was introduced to them, ranging in age from 11-18. It was a heart breaking day for me. Throughout our time with them my heart just hurt that this group was more family then their real family. These boys spent more time with each other than their real family. One boy did not have any living parents. Three had a single mother. So hard.
So the boys played with them – then we had a time of music and singing. They seemed to know some songs – they definitely knew how to dance. And they laughed.
Next we shared with them for a bit from God’s word. Encouraged them to follow the Lord, and to trust him. Then we fed them! They loved the full plates of food. They loved the soda!
As a farewell we gave them a Walmart bag with a bar of soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, gloves, and a fidget spinner. They were elated!! Then we gave them all empty water bottles – that we were saving to turn in – and filled them with water – again, they were thrilled!
The plan is to continue with this particular group of boys, to host them twice a month to feed them and teach them about the Lord. In my opinion, this follow up is the most important. Not the feeding, but the discipling. Knowing that we started a process that will continue with these boys is very satisfying.