Thursday, June 16, 2011

Brothers in Christ

“I feel nervous,” Samuel said. His eyes locked on mine, searching for reassurance. We were sitting on the porch swing, taking a sweet breath. A fifteen-minute slice of time, separated out, because God knew that Samuel needed encouragement. We were just about to drive to church to meet three young boys from Uganda. They were traveling with Africa Renewal Ministries, as members of Mwaganza Children’s Choir, and they would be staying with us for Memorial weekend. For weeks, Sam had been over-the-top excited. But now he had cold feet.

“What if I don’t know what to say or how to make the boys feel welcome?” Samuel asked.

“Sam, you’ll be fine,” I said. “You're good at taking care of people. And when we love people, we're serving Jesus.”

“I know. But my tummy is still twisted,” he said.

“I understand,” I said. I could relate. Truth was, this was new for me, too. Sam’s concerns resonated in my own heart.

A half-hour later, when we greeted three beautiful, strong, friendly little boys, all of our worries were washed away. The bevy of boys, eight in all, blended like they’d been friends for years. They laughed. Played. Ran. Made up games. Shot hoops. Kicked the soccer ball. Later in the evening, we sang praises, shared devotions (two boys from two continents snuggled in one chair), hugged one another goodnight, then fell asleep, anticipating the blessing of seeing one another the next day.

And two days swept past like a gentle wind.

Our family learned a lot over Memorial weekend. We learned more about our big, big God. We learned about another culture. A different country. We learned new and different ways to worship and praise.

And we also learned a few things about little boys.

Boys are boys, no matter where they’re from.

Especially when they're brothers in Christ.

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