Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Head and shoulders, knees and toes...

I love this beautiful mother of three from Burundi. Her apartment -- in a complex with broken windows, empty vodka bottles, and scary people -- is always quiet and clean. She is a Christian whose fruit shows she's living the way Christ intended. Today, we were learning body parts. That's important for a mom who will take her children to the doctor. As always, we got a lot of help from Alice. Can you say "ear?"
Mom attempted to draw a face on my marker board. She spent so much time and effort on this assignment that I came to believe she has never tried to draw anything in her life.

Meanwhile Alice sat on my lap. We talked about hands...and feet...While I worked with mom, Alice decided those feet of hers needed to try on teacher's new white shoes.

When I got ready to put them on again, I noticed that Alice had kindly drawn all over them with a pencil. So what's wrong with that, huh? Don't you like the way I decorated your shoes?Yes, I do, Alice! Thank you very much indeed.

Refugees bring very few possessions to America, and I'm always interested to see what they chose to put in their bags. Some mothers bring the hand-carved wooden spoons they use to make their staple dish called posho. Others bring clothing crafted from banners proclaiming them to be under the protection of the United Nations. One young man has brought the English workbooks he used to study with in the refugee camp.

As always, this lovely mother brought out the hymnbook she carried from Burundi to America. She has a beautiful voice, and she sings hymns for me. Alice grows still, gazing raptly at her mother. It is a moment of peace and joy I treasure.
Thank you, Lord, for Alice and her mother. Bless and protect them always. Amen.

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