Tonight, I went to the children's home to share with the children about my leaving. I had shared in church yesterday, but with the service having been more than 3 hours long, I wasn't sure if they had really heard when my time came to share...
Sure enough, when I asked them tonight if they understood what I shared yesterday, they said, "No."
First, we talked about Saturday's upcoming event, about them going to Ilula, how we've already gotten the bull to be slaughtered. They cheered and explained how they wanted to beat Ilula at soccer and volleyball.
Using Matthew 25, I talked to them about how God has given some of them talents to do well at soccer or volleyball, some have talents doing well at school, or at singing... I explained how God had given me talents to write stories and to take photos, but also to teach. I shared how I believed God is calling me to go someplace where I can teach more, but even as I leave, that they will always be a part of me, that I will not forget them...
We recollected the days when I went to pick up some of them from their homes to bring them to the children's home. They laughed as I reminded them of the fun we had, and I assured them again that I will not be able to forget them. I encouraged them again to serve God with whatever gifts He had given them, reminding them that using those gifts will give them joy. And I prayed for them, asking them to please pray for me as I continue trusting God to open the door to the next place where I am to serve him.
Then they asked me to allow them to pray there and then. I knelt in the middle of the room, and they gathered around me, laying hands on me. Imagine . . . almost 100 little ones surrounding one adult. They had their hands all over me, some even on my nose, my cheeks, my ears . . . My hair was being flattened big time.
But none of this bothered me even for a moment.
It. Was. Precious.
They prayed earnestly for God to show me the way, and for God's presence to go before me. And then each and every one came to hug me or shake my hand. Some little ones didn't want to let go. "Come eat with us, Adele."
I couldn't, though. I had committed to having supper with a family in our community. At the next stop, after a wonderful time of playing with that family's children and encouraging the parents in their work, we prayed together, and I walked home, thankful for my flashlight. Without it, I'd be able to see nothing in front of me...
This has been yet another unforgettable day, especially the time with the kids and my colleagues. And despite good-byes being hard, I still have immense peace that this is the right thing to do.
It is time to move on to serve God in a different environment. Far from being a matter of growing tired of this ministry, it's about stewardship. Nothing happened that led me to want to leave. I simply know that I want to be a better steward of God's calling on my life.
And in my case, it would include a move to a different area.
Thank you for praying for me as I continue stepping out in faith.