Little Hands

Little hands.  Little laughs. Little smiles.  This is what greets me every day.  There are little pockets full of money for snacks and tiny teeth speaking words I don’t understand. And these little hands reach up for me and grab my heart.  The little laughs echo in my ears.  I love to watch them giggle at my funny faces.  The smiles cannot truly be captured.  They are too genuine and too beautiful to be caught on camera.  These are the memories I cherish.  These are the things that make me joyful.

Teaching English is much more difficult than I expected.  You would think since I’ve been speaking this language for approximately 19 years and hearing it for even longer than that, I would have realized how complex it is.  Teaching two classes a day has proved to be incredibly challenging.  The kids I teach have an age range from somewhere around 4 to 13.  It can sometimes be frustrating and often takes a lot of patience, but I have learned to celebrate the little victories.  In my morning class, the children are finally understanding apostrophes and contractions.  Their writing is improving.  They understand the difference between this and these.  They are reading so much better.  One of my little ones can even spell apple! These things make my heart soar with joy.

I teach at 8am and again at 2pm.  The kids come in through the big maroon gate, sometimes an hour or more before their classes start and they wave their little hands at me.  I am greeted with “Hell-o teach-ah! Good morning teach-ah.” And “Hel-ley.”  Haley is a little difficult to say.  They come in so full of life.  I hope that one day they will leave our little school with eternal life.  I pray for them in the mornings.  I earnestly ask the Lord to capture their hearts.  I hope that I and my fellow teammates may be lights in their lives.  I pray that they would ask about this curious book we keep telling those stories from and why Jesus is so important.

God has given me a heart for thesechildren.  I love to see them while walking on the dirt roads to buy coconuts.  I love to see them on their bikes.  I love it when they stand outside the door to our room and try to peek in to see what the foreigners are doing.  I love when they giggle and scatter when we come to the door.  I love them.

I will pick them up and spin them around until my arms hurt just to see those beautiful smiles.  They want my attention.  They want my hugs.  They want me to teach them.

I hope they are learning more from me than just fun games and a few English words.  I hope they are learning about the character of Jesus.  I hope they are seeing His love in how I love them.

Little hands.  Let them be lifted towards heaven.  Little laughs. Let them be a new song unto the Lord. Little smiles.  Let them show the joy of the Christ’s salvation.

May my team and I walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which we have been called with all humility, gentleness, patience, and love.  May we be imitators of God as beloved children and walk in love as Christ has loved us (Ephesians 4:1-2; 5:1-2).  Let us teach them to do likewise.

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