Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Dear Sweet William

Today was day two of our Summer Camp.

Late morning I was outside the main hall and came upon William.
William is about 10 years old. I have known him since he was a little boy.
He is very dear sweet boy being raised by his mother in one of the poorest communities in Kigali.

I tried to get him to go inside with the others but he seemed very reluctant.
In an almost inaudible voice he said something that I couldn't hear properly.
It wasn't until Serge came along that he convinced him to go inside. I followed him and get occupied with Beni.

As few minutes later, a short-term team member, Monica,  nudged me and said that William was crying.
Why was he crying?

He had come to camp that day looking for Shanda.
Shanda was a short-term team member that was here last year.
He had come looking for her and was not on this years team.

Monica and I did our best to console him and he stayed.
A few minutes later, I catch Joel's eye and he mouths to me that William left.
I beelined out the door after him. He was already almost off the property.

I caught up to him and as I turned him around, hot big tears were rolling down his cheeks.
'Shanda's not here. She didn't come back to see me.'

In the minutes that followed I tried to console him again - she sent her friends, she would love to be here but she couldn't be this year, etc. etc. but nothing seemed to work.

My dear sweet William just said to me, 'My heart is too sad to dance today. I am going home. I will come back tomorrow.'

I gave him a final hug and made him promise me that he would return tomorrow. I then turned back toward the camp, tears welling in my eyes. And then they overflowed... 

Short-term team members have no idea what impact they can have a life.
I know that Shanda loved on William last year. I know she was Jesus to him and now he's been waiting a full year to see her again.

What I wouldn't do to pay her ticket to come and surprise him but that's about impossible.

I'm praying my dear sweet William comes tomorrow and that somehow he can understand the gift that God has sent him in this years amazing team.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Jen, hello! Thanks so much for sharing this. I sometimes wonder to myself how effective short-term is: does it truly have meaning to the people there and can it truly bring lasting impact as long-term does? This is an encouragement to read that it CAN bring meaning - even to the sweetest little boy with tears; how precious.. Hope you are well -- planning to call you soon!
~Kaitlyn from MI