The kids and I were given an opportunity to get a glimpse tonight - the first glimpse we got was a glimpse of being the minority, as Naomi will feel often once she gets home. We got the opportunity to attend a church service at a local church that is made up of mostly African people. There were families from several different African countries and some caucasians as well. We arrived a little bit early to find that we were the only fair skinned people in the room. There were lots of stares and glances our direction. They were followed with hesitant smiles and kind eyes - but I'm sure they were wondering if we were in the right place. I never felt so aware of my daughter's fair skin and bright red hair. As we waited for church to start - there was someone at the front of the room leading prayer - I say leading prayer because everyone was praying. Not only was everyone praying but they were praying loudly, all at the same time, and most of them not in English. My kids couldn't help but sit and stare. They were translating the speaker's prayers into English so we kind of knew what was going on. As we got closer to service starting the pew started filling up and we weren't the only white people in the crowd anymore - a handful more showed up.
The music began and it was amazing. We were given a glimpse into the beauty and grace of African music. Most of the music was in Swahili and when they sang verses in English it was hard to understand through the accent. But the music was beautiful - it lifted my spirits! I prayed that my daughter would be surrounded by such beauty, such rhythm, such awe inspiring praises to God. They invited all the new people up front to introduce us and then prayed over us. It was amazing standing in the front of a group of complete strangers, from Africa none the less. They said that they would pray over us and that God would know what needs we had and where our lives needed touched. As I held my daughter Leah in my arms and felt them lay hands on her head and heard the sweet words of prayer over my children and my family, I knew God was holding Naomi up in that place. I knew that He was watching over her and holding her in His arms, just like I was holding Leah. The sweet prayers were as much for my children here as they were for her there.
The kids got bored after a while and started getting whiny and fidgety - the service was pretty long lasting a little over 2 hours. All in all it was a wonderful experience and I have no doubt that we will return. It was a glimpse into the culture and heritage that our daughter is a part of, that we are now a part of, that God is a part of.
We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life. But those who make their journey home across time and miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them, are carried on the wings of destiny and placed among us by God's very own hands.
~ Kristi Larson ~
~ Kristi Larson ~
Not flesh of my flesh, Nor bone of my bone, But still miraculously my own. Never forget for a single minute, You didn't grow under my heart - but in it!
~ Fleur Conkling Heylinger ~