Today, because the church tents went down in a storm yesterday, we did children's church at the park (which is about a 10 minute walk from the church). While there, I was hanging out with some of the little ones. I was letting a 5 year old boy, Sheldon, do my hair (because I have yet to meet someone out here that doesn't love to play with my hair). As he was trying to put it in a ponytail, he says to me, "Your hair is really soft! Do you use Dark and Lovely?" Dietra just about busted a gut with that one. About 15 minutes later, while he is alternating between doing my hair and just petting my arm, he says "You know, I really love you. That is why I am touching you so much." Ah, kids.
Matt (children's pastor) shared the Christmas story with the 300 kids that were there today. I was sitting amongst the kids to try to keep them quiet...all of a sudden, Sheldon comes running up to me and sits down. Here is the conversation:
Sheldon: "Oh, here you are! I have been looking for you."
Me: "Shhhhh. Pastor Matt is telling the story of how Jesus was born."
S: (gasping, with wide eyes) "Jesus?!"
S: "How was he born?!"
Me: "Listen to Pastor Matt"
S: "Do you have makeup on your eyes?"
S: (as he spies my wedding ring, then holds my hand) "I love this ring. May I wear it for a little while and then give it back to you?"
S: "Ok!" (gets up and runs off) "See ya!"
After Matt finished the Christmas story, we went back to the church and it was time for...Operation Christmas Child, round 2!
It was quite the job to get all of the gifts distributed today, and I must say, the church kids were sneaky little buggers. They would hide their boxes in the tall grass and say they didn't get one, or sit on their boxes, trying to make it look like they hadn't gotten one yet. All in all, I think we ended up distributing close to 350 gift boxes today. The kids were SO HAPPY. Oh my word. So wonderful. I had dozens of kids running up to me, showing me excitedly what they got for Christmas. One girl was so sweet. Seriously, almost out of a movie...She was probably about 7 years old and had 2 younger siblings with her (maybe 2 and 3 years old). She was showing me what they all got, and as she was packing up the boxes, she looks up at me from the ground and says with a smile, "I am so happy." If that doesn't melt your heart, you are made of stone.
I was happy to see the little boy I met yesterday, Omaatla, at church today. Omaatla is the child that lives on his own at a shelter, and who has suffered terrible abuse during his short little life. This is his first time at our church, and I am thrilled that he was able to come on Operation Christmas Child day. He is such a great kid; I hope for opportunities to spend much more time with him in the future.
Anyway, that was my morning! It was wonderful (as usual).