Hearing the words “I love you” from a parent is a blessing for the many children in Themba Hopsital, Kabokweni, South Africa. But some of the little ones in the Children’s Ward don’t have any parents to hold them and play with them during the visiting hours. So when we went, it was a life changing time where God’s grace flowed like a river washing over the hearts of each child.
After we had spent what seemed only a few minutes, the visiting time ended and the love-thristy children, dressed in their little striped hospital gowns, all waved goodbye, proudly holding their recently colored photos. As I high-five them all for the fifteenth time and I look around the hospital hallway one last time at their broken bones, I see some of the strongest boys and girls I’ve ever met.
I see these children, not as torn apart because of their injuries, but rather longing to be normal kids, who can catch a ball and sing a song. As we were leaving, we could hear a few of the younger ones begin to cry. I heard little feet shuffling behind me and I turned around to find a little boy tugging on my pant leg. He looked at me in the eyes and asks, with a faint voice, “Where’s my mama?” In that moment, I tearfully bent down, opened my arms wide, and he wrapped around me ever so tightly. Now I am not replacing his mother by any means, but I have the love of Jesus Christ living inside of me. That is a powerful, transformational love to give to someone whose empty heart is desiring to be embraced.
by Amanda Hudak
“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven and whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”