Meet my best friend, Isabel

We have been back in our home base of Kijabe for the past week and it’s been awesome! Most  of the team was sent to work in the AIC (African Inland Church) hospital, but two volunteers were needed to work in the preschool nearby. Since I love kids and nearly pass out at the sight of blood, my hand happily shot up at this opportunity. As the teacher introduced me to the small group of 3-5 year olds, I was greeted in unison: “Hello, how are you today?” … Good, how are you? -“Fine, thank you.”. Within minutes we were all best friends and I was being summoned every second with, “Teacher! Teacher! Look how smart (pretty/well done)” as they joyfully showed me their schoolwork. At lunch time we would break and go have our own lunch at home, but as we walked back the children would see us from afar and come running with smiles as big as can be. One particular little girl, Isabel, captured my heart. Every day after lunch she would see me and her whole face would light up…then she would run towards me- full speed, huge  smile, arms wide open. I’d pick her up, spin her around, and she’d laugh without a care in the world.
One day during nap time I picked Isabel up and sat her in my arms. She pointed to my cross necklace and I told her that’s the cross of Jesus. “Yes,” she said. Do you love Jesus? –Yes. Do you know He loves you? –Yes. After all her yes’s I assumed she was simply agreeing as many children do. After a few moments though, she paused in thought and began to sing so softly and sweetly: “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. Jesus loves the little children of the worrrrllld.” Each time she would sing the verse, throw me a big smile, and embrace me in an even bigger hug.
I know without a doubt that Isabel knows and loves Jesus with all her heart. Many people underestimate the relationship children can have with Jesus, but the Bible actually tells us to humble ourselves like children because they are so pure, precious, and beloved. Their faith is like no other.
Matthew 18:2-4 says:

And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

The way Isabel ran towards me with arms wide open reminds me of how Jesus has his arms wide open waiting with abundant love, and likewise wants us to have our arms wide open to embrace the love. His love surpasses all understanding-it never fails, never gives up, never runs out on us. Are your arms crossed or wide open?

We’re now staying at a hostel in Nairobi for a few days as a treat, but we return soon and I honestly can’t wait to see my preschool “babies” again. I’ll be sure to say hello to my new best friend, Isabel, for you.

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