Today is the Presentation of the Lord in the temple. The reading ends with The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favour of the God was upon him. I have been thinking about the children of the barrio whose homes we just built. I am making this my prayer for them today–that they may grow strong, be filled with wisdom and that the favour of God would rest upon them.
This photo is from the afternoon of the house dedication after spending the morning smooth coating, painting and doing the last minute work on the house. This photo is very telling. The son is offering his gratitude while his mother holds his hand. His sister on his far right is smiling while his youngest sister embraces her mother. The youngest daughter had become an extra appendage to her mother most of the time I saw the together. The other brother has yet to arrive. This house means so much to them, more than a roof over their head. Locked doors and windows provide safety for the youngest so she can rejoin the family instead of living away from them. This abode will fulfill dreams, perhaps allow children to stay in school longer, boost self esteem as friends can visit, and foster a strong community.
My highlight of the trip was soon after this photo. The family got the keys to their home and entered through the front door. Some of us followed them in. We stumbled upon an intimate moment. The five family members were huddled in an embrace, weeping. I wanted to back out and close the door but there was no way to stop the crowd from coming in. The family pulled away from one another and reached out for us who had built their house. We hugged as tears streamed down. As I walked away, I looked into the eyes of my Canadian team members and saw their tears too. One of the local men saw us and noted that there was a lot of emotion.
Yes, much emotion overwhelmed us. We had been part of allowing a child to return to their village and hopefully, all the children in the family will grow strong and wise. May God’s favour rest upon all of them. My prayers will remain with them. Will you also pray for them during this time of transition?
What does your home mean to you?
Is there a child in your life who needs the opportunity to grow strong and wise?
We present ourselves to you in our vulnerability and weakness, knowing that You, O God, want to transform us into strong and wise people. May your favour rest upon us. Amen.