The Joy of the Children

Rebekka Wehner, Riberalta, Bolivia

Since February, the boarding school has been open. When I wanted to pray on the first evening, one of the new girls that I am responsible for said in desperation, “But I don’t know how to pray.” In the next weeks, she and her sister often told me stories about demons, zombies and the like and that their home was haunted. Recently, the older one said, “We can never sleep at home, but here in the boarding school we sleep wonderfully.” The younger one said, “That is because this place is blessed.” What could we say to that?
There is always a lot to do with sponsoring. Over 100 letters of children addressed to their sponsors in Europe need to be translated. Here are some examples: “I don’t like to get dirty, don’t like salad or chicken. When I grow up I would like to be a doctor…I have a brother and a cat and my father…when I grow up I want to be an engineer, doctor or lawyer…I don’t like it when people make a noise, but I like horses…When I am big I want to wash clothes, make my bed and study…I like apples, cows’ milk and football [soccer] matches.” You can’t help but smile when you translate some of these letters. A particular joy was the statement of an 11-year-old girl, “When I grow up I want to be a dentist and go to the mission field, read God’s Word and spread it.”

Not long ago, a 10-year-old in my group received money from her sponsor for a gift. To the question of what she would like, she immediately said, “Tennis shoes!” I replied, “But, you should already have those.” She looked at the floor and said she only had flip-flops. I was moved. At the market, we then bought her her first tennis shoes. How her eyes sparkled! And I was ashamed that as a Swiss person it was a matter of course to have them.

Midnight Call - 10/2017

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