We then went out through the village and handed out food and other needed items to the people and invited all the kids to come to the school for some fun.
We easily had 70 kids in a big circle. They were led in songs by their teacher and one of the other local pastors. Then one of our preachers, through a translator told the story of Daniel and the lions den. Charles did a great job. Then we handed out popcorn to the kids. They all had a great time.
As the kids were hanging out still in this big circle, I took picture of the kids. I always ask before I take anyone's picture, simply out of common courtesy. These kids LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to have their picture taken. They also LOVE to have you show them the picture on your camera.
Then I met Melinda. She was a little girl who was about 8 or 9 years old. She shied away from me and hid her face. As I looked closer I could see she had some kind of issue with her skin. When asked if I could take her picture she said no and pointed to her face. I saw a young girl who was in pain from being made fun of, and feeling ugly. As I looked at her, I told her she was, "bel" which is beautiful in Haitian Creole. She relied with no! No Bel!
Then she ran and hid behind some other children. My heart was breaking for this precious little girl. As I watched her, she never smiled. I kept feeling the prompting of the Holy Spirit to go and speak to her again. I took the young preacher there with me so he could interpret.
I knelt down in front of this image bearer of God, and with help from the interpreter, I told her,
"Jesus made you. He only makes beautiful things. He wanted me to tell you, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. He loves you very much. I love you too, because you are such a beautiful creation of His!" And then I walked away.
A few minutes later she returned to me, and had a smile on her face and was speaking very fast. I could not figure out what she was saying. The preachers wife standing close by said,"She is saying she loves you very, very much." Then Melinda said something I understood very well, "Photo!" and pulled me close indicating she wanted a picture taken with me!
A very simple thing. Telling a young woman she was beautiful. It made all the difference to her. Forever.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. Ecc 3:11a (ESV)
Is there someone that needs to hear they are beautiful today? Seek them out. Share with them. They will never be the same.
Neither will you.
Melinda and her smile is forever part of my heart.
Chasing After Their Hearts,