By Kari Miller
As Rebecca and I traveled the dusty bumpy road out to her village, I asked her why she had chosen to spend her life caring for orphans. She became very animated when I asked her this question, turned around in her seat and began another one of her lifes journeys.
She was visiting her daughter in the bustling city of Ndola making up for all the lost time of her missed childhood. In order to help her daughter, she offered to go to the market. As she walked through the crowded market full of merchants, she caught the gaze of a small child sitting in the public toilet.
It was odd to see a child sitting on the urine caked floor with no shoes and very little clothing. She immediately went to see her and found two scared little girls, two sistersages 4 and 7.
These girls had been living in the public toilet alone for several weeks as their grandmother was at the local hospital with their youngest sister. The grandmother brought food when she could, but their youngest sister was quite ill, and without the grandmother feeding her, she would die.
Can you imagine the horrible choice this grandmother had to makebe with her dying grandchild or be with her two young sisters? Rebecca said that her heart broke in two as she stood in the stench of the public toilet, and she began to weep. She then took the girls back to her daughters house to get cleaned up, to get clean clothes and to eat. After speaking with the childrens grandmother, she took them back to her village out past Chingola.
Since that time, the youngest sister has fully recovered, and the grandmother is now living with them in the village. The two oldest are still quite small due to a severe lack of nourishment, but they are in school and being cared for by Jeremiahs church.
Finally, we had reached the village, and I could hear the loud cheering and squeals from the children who had followed our van to Jeremiahs house. As Rebecca and I climbed out of the van, she grabbed my hand and I looked down to see three small girls smiling up at me. These are the ones I found in the toilet, Rebecca said softly. I looked at them and tears began to well up in my eyes. I turned and looked deep into Rebeccas eyes. Hers were red and moist, too.
Without speaking, Rebecca grabbed me in a tight bear hug, and we sobbed on each others shoulder. It was the first of the holy moments I would experience. Time seemed to stand still, and God seemed so close.
Here, in the middle of the African bush in a small village, an African woman and a privileged white woman from the west held each other and cried for the orphans who live in toilets, for the children who go to bed without anyone to tuck them in, for the widows and grandmothers who have to make unspeakable choices.
Somehow, God was trying to communicate something about himself in that moment, and I dont want to be too quick to decide what it is.
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Kari Miller is a 4th grade teacher who is passionate about loving Jesus and loving others. She longs to inspire others to love the least, the lost and the left out.