“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”
– Jeremiah 33:3
On Sunday we got to visit our friends at Shangilia Children’s Home and School. It is always such a blast to hang out with them. It was even more fun this weekend because our family got to teach their Sunday school lesson. One of the lovely young girls, Teresa, volunteered to lead us in a time of praise and worship. After praising the Lord, it was time to learn more about Him. We talked about Samuel (the Biblical one!) first hearing God’s voice. Instead of simply telling the story, we decided to turn it into a short skit.
Swathed in blankets and carrying a broom-handle staff, Dad made a wonderful Eli, narrating the story and engaging everyone’s attention. Mom, playing Hannah when Dad narrated the beginning of Samuel’s story, was lauded for her fake crying. Sam played the young boy Samuel (of course!). Even Aviya had a part playing baby Samuel. Despite the fact that the voice of God (played by me) wasn’t very deep, the kids loved the skit. We weren’t merely there to put on a show however; our point was that God speaks to everyone.
We then read from the book of John about Jesus being the Good Shepherd and how we are His sheep who know His voice. This required a demonstration. Here in Kenya, the shepherds walk behind the sheep and make them move by yelling and swatting them with a big stick. Dad clarified that the passage from John 10 was referring to the method of shepherding used by the Israelites. In this method, the shepherd walks in front of the sheep and calls them to follow him. The sheep of one of these shepherds are trained to know his voice, and his voice alone. Our Shepherd, Jesus, leads us with His voice. We may know the voice of our Shepherd, but it takes practice to hear Him speaking if you are not used to it.
To help the kids learn to listen for that Voice, we had a listening-and-journaling time. Everyone found their comfy position (generally on their tummy on the ground) and sat, listening for the God-whispers – the things God speaks to our hearts. Fifty-one children, from the very little ones right up to the teenagers, sat in silence in the hot sunshine waiting to write out or draw what God was telling them. That silence was a beautiful thing. We finished up and had a time to share our pictures just as the tiny ones started to get the wiggles. Six children, hesitant at first, shared their drawings. Oh, the wonderful things God speaks to His children! Lillian, a 11-year-old girl who lives at Shangilia, shyly shared that God had given peace to Kenya. It could be nothing less than the words of God, because, with the presidential elections looming again, tension and conflict are beginning to rear their ugly heads higher. Only God can bring peace to Kenya. God spoke to Christine, who is only 7 years old, that she needed to love herself so she could learn to love others. God gave Christine a beautiful message of love and self-worth that touched more hearts at Shangilia than just her own. And those were only two of the journal pages! It is my prayer that the amazing young people there will continue to listen to God’s voice and come to know more and more of His breath-taking love and goodness.