Charles sat motionless in the middle of the floor. Children of all ages surrounded him. They looked on with widened eyes and enthusiasm. Doubt stabbed through his mind as fingers poked his skin and pulled his hair.
One little boy pulled out three blonde strands. He ran in triumph with the three strands back to his friends, jumping and shouting something in his native language.
When will the translator be here?
A dirt-covered finger took the plunge into Charles’ eye. He winced in pain. The children jumped back defensively at his screaming. He made a great effort to calm his reaction despite the bacteria burning his eye. He sat up, removing his hand from the wound, and sat still again. One by one, the children crept up to him again.
Finally, relief came as the translator pulled up and the children scattered like frightened animals.
“They’ve never seen a white man!” He called from his beat up jeep.
Clarity zapped through his mind. That first day as a missionary was filled with wonder and adventure. That first night, he got out his pen and paper, and just as he had promised before the trip, began his letter to his parents back home.
“Dear Mom and Dad,
I cannot thank you enough for sending me on this trip. I know how many problems I have caused you and dad lately. I’m so sorry. We have broken up into our adoptive missionary tribes; I am with the translator awaiting my missionary parents to arrive.
While we wait for them, I have already met the most amazing people today. In a few hours of conversation, I already know that their hunger for God is unlike any other I’ve ever seen in the states. I pray that God will use me to show each one of them the love of God.
There is one issue, mom, which I must get used to. Space. It appears personal boundaries are of little to no consequence here in the jungle. I sit in the floor, surrounded by children poking and prodding themselves into my world. As surely as I have ever felt the presence of God, I felt it today. For as much as they need me in their world to show them and teach the truth, they have already taught me so much.
Tears fill my eyes now to know that it took the broken heart and dirty finger of a young boy named Josiah, jabbing desperately into my world with so many unanswered questions to realize that if I want the answers I’m seeking, then I need to set aside my personal boundaries, and get into God’s space, and desperately seek Him in His space.
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