Monday, September 15, 2008

New shoes for new Americans

Seven members of our new Burundian family needed new shoes. We put ministry money into this project. Many thanks to those of you who support us financially! Take a look at what God did today with your gift.
First, we buckled the three youngest boys into the back seat of our car and set off for the shoe shop. The store manager helped Tim measure each boy's foot.
Worn plastic sandals were soon exchanged for bright new shoes. This necessitated a fair amount of clowning around by the youngest boy. Not particularly appreciated by his big brother.
No amount of cajoling would bring a smile to the faces of the two older boys. We weren't surprised. Refugees have a hard time learning how to set aside a painful past and embrace a better future. One of these sweet children is an orphan. When both parents died, he was taken in by his uncle. We see the sorrow written on his face.
After returning these three children to their apartment, we squeezed the four older ones into the car. This time, we went to a different store.Everyone found sturdy shoes that will get them through the winter. The older boys will find jobs, and these make good work shoes. Sister wasn't exactly crazy about them, but she will appreciate them more when cold weather sets in.Much conferring and giggling accompanied this trek. We discovered that teenage girls find reasons to giggle -- no matter where they're from.
We arrived back at the complex to find a crowd of Burundian children playing in the parking lot. This tiny girl was carrying her even tinier baby sister in typical African fashion. Her joy and pride made our hearts sing.
Thank you, Lord, for new shoes . . . for giggles . . . for baby sisters . . . and for hope.

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