Forgotten Voices' Mission:

"Demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ by equipping local churches in southern Africa to meet the physical & spiritual needs of children orphaned by AIDS in their communities."

Saturday, August 4, 2007

What I learned from a kid recently

Recently, I was speaking at a church in Pennsylvania. They had asked that I talk about Forgotten Voices to 60 kids, from the ages of 5-10. Gotta be honest with you. Out of all the groups I have the chance to talk with, this age group is my FAVORITE!

They are always so willing to learn, engaging, trusting, and fun! Plus, they always ask hilarious questions. As we watched a presentation about orphans in Africa, the kids were locked into the show. We pretended to fly into Zimbabwe, fly even lower into the Matopo Mountains, and then bike up a hill before finally walking a LONG way to a small boy's village.

As they kids met Peterson on the screen, they all stood and yelled an Ndebele greeting that i just taught them with no regard to the fact that Peterson couldn't ACTUALLY hear them or see them. It didn't matter to them. They were engaged.

Over 5 minutes, I introduced them to Peterson's life. How he lives by himself. How he cares for the animals and takes care of the fields. How he has to get himself up in the morning and walk 2 miles to school. How he needs to cheer himself up when he has a bad day or someone makes fun of him. And the crazy thing is? they got it. No, they really got it. Unlike any other group, kids just get it. They didn't ask questions that were only being asked to avoid dealing with the heart of the situation...orphans caring for themselves at way too young of an age.

As my time with these children came to a close, I was humbly touched by 1 small boy, age 8. I was in the middle of describing how they can help millions of kids just like Peterson: Pray, Share, Give. Before I finished the Give part, a young boy came right up to the stage in front of everyone and said, "I have 2 quarters. Could you make sure that this gets to the kids in Zimbabwe?"

In that moment, I was floored. "Faith like a child" took on a whole new meaning for me in that moment. I'm thankful for kids and the lessons they can teach us. And I'm thankful for the thousands of lives that will be touched in the USA and Africa as I have the chance to tell that story over and over.

-Ryan (writing from Pennsylvania)

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