Today again has been fun, but hard. It was soooo cold this morning we could hardly stand it. All the Zambian’s have gloves on….I wish I had a pair of them myself! We spent a lot of time with our children in small groups today. It was nice to see my girls so eager to learn. They are wanting us to teach them so much.
We have such a great time singing and dancing in large group. Each song, Greer, the head of the camp calls up American counselors to lead the song with motions on the stage. Today we were doing “This little light of mine,” but we had it in a kid’s version that was rap style. So Greer began calling up counselors on stage to lead and he called up Samantha and Laura Shook. It was hilarious to see Laura Shook do the running man, we were all laughing hysterically. She’s such a great sport!
After large group time, I had some more one on one time with my girls. One of my little girls, named Naomi, she lives with her sister because her father remarried and her stepmother was mistreating her. The sister is a policewoman and works most nights. Naomi stays at the house with her sister’s children. She refers to them as her brother and sisters. Naomi says that most nights her brother beats up on her and mistreats her very badly. She cried tears as she told me. For most Zambian’s they do not cry and they don’t typically share those types of things. She acted as if she really didn’t want to tell me, but I saw big tears rolling down her eyes when I asked her what makes her sad. She says that it is miserable.
The theme of our camp is the 23rd Psalm. The portion we learned just today (right before I had this one on one time with Naomi) was “They prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies.” Greer gave an example in Large group how if you are staying at your Aunt and Uncles house and they send you outside with no food for no reason and they are being very ugly to you. Then you are outside and you proclaim to the Lord “The Lord…You are my Shepherd,” (the scripture we are learning this week…about choosing to follow after God). Then God will do 1 of 3 things. #1 He might use another person and send them by to give you food or provide for you somehow. #2 He might just provide you food by a miracle and it just showing up or taking the hunger away. And #3 He might choose another way. He might not give you any food. But even then, you say to yourself, “God, I’m still hungry, but I choose today that you are my Shepherd and you are with me during this difficult time.” Then he said you could sing the “The Lord is My Shepherd” song we have been singing. He began to sing it from the stage. He says, you sing that song and guess what might happen….your auntie and uncle might come out of the house and wonder why you are so happy and praising God in your difficult time. He said, no matter what….if the Lord is your shepherd, that means he will be with you no matter what you are going through. (Many of these children live pretty difficult lives.) After this they did a skit with the same premise, but the whole time the sister was being mean to her or she was outside hungry, there were evil people around. When she called upon the Lord, he came out and served her a big meal right in front of the evil people.
So with Naomi, I spoke with her about proclaiming that the Lord is her Shepherd. And that God promises that He will prepare a table for her in the presence of her enemy. That when she is in a situation she has no control over, such as her brother beating her every day, that she is to remember that the Lord is her Shepherd and to pray to Him. And he will prepare her a table. He might stop the beating through someone else, He might provide a miracle, or he might not stop it but use her in a powerful way as she proclaims Jesus through her difficulties. She cried with me and clung to me as I prayed for her. As we were finishing up I asked her what things I could pray for her and she said only one thing, that her brother would stop beating her. So that is my prayer. Please pray with me for this for Naomi!
I don’t want to always be negative in this! I have 8 girls total. I have had 5 of my one on one times so far. 3 of my girls are well adjusted children who have 3 meals a day, although they are very small meals. But they are doing very well. But it is on my heart to ask you to join in on this trip and pray for these little girls who are struggling with me.
Naomi is to the far right in the picture below: