Danielle Alig was in Swaziland this summer with Adventures in Missions just like my son Patrick except she was on a longer trip geared toward college-aged young adults. Her Passport team ministered in many of the same places as the Ambassadors including the Mangwaneni Carepoint. This Manzini Carepoint is located within walking distance of the neighborhood we are looking at living in. I was able to visit there with Children's HopeChest back in 2008. Patrick's team has spent many days there. For all these reasons, I am always particularly interested when I see anything written about it. I found this blog post particularly poignant and Danielle is allowing me to share it here at Graceland.
My heart tends to fight for the underdog and against the big bad bully in nearly every situation. My heart aches for the ones who are picked on or are generally ignored. These feelings also surface not only in caring for the underdog but in disciplining the oppressor (Future Teacher Status).
The "Dump" carepoint in Manzini, is a place in which the Lord has truly showed me his face and his love for the ignored of this world. Upon arriving nearly 7 weeks ago and each Monday that followed, I felt and noticed a continued air of sexuality and inappropriateness over the young children. They were winking at us, giving looks that gave me chills, touching us and each other in inappropriate ways, and saying inappropriate things.
There was one boy in particular that always seemed too attach on to this persona more than all of the others. He was also always hitting and pushing all of the other children. I instantly deemed him "Trouble", and was constantly keeping my distant and reprimanding him when he hit or kicked. I knew who he was and his face stuck with me but for reasons that were not of the Lord.
Two weeks ago, he was up to his usual business, and I felt an exceptional pull to him. I felt the need to pray over the child and ask the Lord to remove the spirits that were surrounding him. I felt the Lord tell me to pray for his protection at home and to give him back his beautiful childlike spirit rather than the one that he currently carried, that was far beyond his years. I left that particular Monday feeling defeated and aching for the children especially this little boy. I do not know what their home lives are like but I do know they are learning and consequently acting out these characteristics somewhere.
This past Monday when we arrived at the carepoint, this same little boy caught my eye and I thought there's trouble. I wonder what he will be up to today; I had better stay clear from him. Little did I know the Lord planned to use this "troubled" child to teach me a major lesson and show me more of His love for me.
I sat down on in the dirt and was instantly bombarded with little boys climbing all over me. There were three in my lap and one that was inconveniently chocking me while climbing on my back. When the children are chocking me I tend to quickly push them off my back, but today for some reason I let them all be. However after about 10 minutes my legs fell terrible asleep, I made the children stand up but kept the one on my back. Little did I know "trouble" was on my back. I sat back down and he was then lying in my lap. He was being good so I let him be. Over the course of the next three hours we became best friends. The day was full of laughter, making funny faces, photos, and videos. The Lord made me fall in love with his beautiful child.
"Trouble" was being a child, a beautiful 5 year-old-boy. He was simply loving on me and I felt a bond forming between us. He wasn't being mean to anyone or doing things that made me shake my head he was just enjoying his afternoon playing with this weird white girl. I could not control my smile and neither could he. It was just the two of us bonding together and finding a little bit of peace in what must be a hard world even for this 5 year old boy.
The Lord truly changed my heart for this boy. He showed me that this little boy is the underdog just as much as the one he sometimes bullies. He needs love just as much as the other children. He is angry or doing the things he is doing because he is lost and doesn't know the meaning of true love.
As I walked away from the carepoint that day with my heart full of love for this child and longing to see him next week, I heard the Lord whisper this is how I felt and feel about YOU. I was the "trouble" child. I was living my life as the bully, and often still do, when I was far from the Lord. I was hurting others both physically and verbally and living my life in constant defense. I was living as far away from the Lord as physically possible. Forcing away any sort of love others were trying to poor into my life. The Lord simply took the time to love me. He made me feel His love and gave me his full attention and saved me from my BAD GIRL self and IS TURNING me into the GOOD GIRL he has designed me to be.
This Lord used me to love this BOY like He loves him as well as to teach me even a bit more about the undeserving LOVE he has for me. I loved this boy for one day and feel in love with him, and was able to see the Lord beautifully through him. I cannot even fathom how the Lord Loves me and has seen me through all the trials and separation I have caused between us. I am feeling more and more like a beautiful daughter simply sitting and cuddling in my Father's lap.
To read more blog posts from Danielle's Passport Team, visit their website: http://swaziland.adventures.org/