A girl named Den.

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My time in the first community was rocked by a 7 year old girl named Den. - At least, that’s what I called her for two days while teaching in her school - Den. The last day at the school, we were passing out their art folders and I called out the name “Jane” which was written on the folder in my hand. Den came running up and grabbed the folder out of my hand, giggling.

 

Note to Kate: The name “Jane” sounds scarily like the word “Den” when spoken in an African accent.

 

Regardless, Jane has two of the biggest, brownest, and most beautiful eyes God ever made. Her smile is one of those that is sheepish but insanely joyful at the same time.The next day, we ventured into African churches throughout the community, and as God and His kindness would have it, Jane and her little sister came skipping through those church doors. The entire service, Jane would look over at me and flash her sheepish grin. Her parents weren’t with her so she paid the tithe by herself and kept tabs on her 3 year old sister throughout the service.

 

After church, we all met up at the open street crusade, which happen frequently here in Africa. They are essentially an open church service with a couple of speakers, loads of dancing and a lot of “hallelujah’s”. Jane and I just played like good friends the entire time. At one point, a handful of girls and I were sitting and Jane stood relentlessly, for 30 minutes, shading me from the hot, hot, hot, African sun with her coat. Despite my protests, Jane just kept standing, kept smiling and shaded me the entire afternoon. When it was time to leave, a meek “I wish you safe travels” was whispered into my ear, and she and her little sister took off walking home.

 

It is so easy to stand in front of a classroom full of African children and pour every ounce of love you have onto them. To drill into them that they are immeasurably loved by a Creator that made them special. It is so easy to romanticize the concept of missions. I surely came in thinking that everyday would be a good day, that I would be surrounded by African children 24/7 and I wouldn’t ever be tired because of the energy of Jesus and that I would pick up Swahili in no time. I came in believing in my own strength as a believer of Jesus.

 

The truth is that I didn’t shower for 12 days.

The truth is that most days I woke up exhausted, with an aching back because my mattress was the ground.

The truth is that some days weren’t good days.

The truth is that I didn’t know what I was doing. And I still don’t.

The truth is I can’t do this.

 

But.

 

The truth is that some of the past 12 days were some of the best I’ve ever had.

The truth is that I got to tell countless children about a Savior that changed my life for good.

The truth is that I can’t do this - but by God’s grace He’s letting me.

The truth is that I am an utterly broken child of God, thirsty for the love of Jesus Christ.

The Truth is simply, Jesus.

 

Jane showered me with the love that I thought that I was supposed to be pouring into her. Through Jane, the Lord showered me with love that I didn’t even know I was thirsty for, because I thought that I had all the love that I needed.

 

Goodness, does this broken vessel need the love of my Jesus, daily. And goodness, does my Jesus have boundless portions of that love to give me, and Jane, and I promise He has plenty for you, too.

 

- Kate McMordie, a Journey 2014 intern