Every time we travel with Compassion there is always a kid you can’t forget. Rarely do you pick them, they almost always pick you. Surprisingly, it’s usually not the most outgoing kid. In fact, it is usually the quiet shy kids that gravitate to us. That was the case with Samuel on this trip to Ghana.
He is an amazing kid in a tough situation. His father was killed in a mine collapse and he lives in the type of poverty that is hard to fully fathom. He only eats a potato-like root for dinner, and for a treat every once in a great while, he will get a little rice. We should contemplate that the next time we can’t decide which of 10 restaurants we want to eat at after church, and how giving up that meal once a month would feed Samuel every day.
Samuel captured my heart. He has a messed up leg which Compassion helped get surgery on even though he does not have a sponsor. I love that about Compassion.
Samuel was soft spoken at first, but as I got to speak into his life and tell him how loved he is by God and that his leg doesn’t define him, he perked up.
He shared that kids in the village make fun of him for his disability. This bothered me greatly because he has enough problems in his life, that is the last thing he needs, but kids are kids all over the world and no one wants to be ostracized.
I gave him one of my favorite bracelets, thank goodness men in Africa with bracelets are not maligned like I am back in the states for my jewelry.
I told him that any time someone teases him to look at this bracelet and remember that he was made and loved by God and He has a purpose in this world that maybe others have not seen yet, but I have.
Later as I sat on the bus getting ready to leave, I noticed Samuel staring at me through the window, and I instantly got off the bus to see him one last time.
I usually have toys with me so we were instantly mobbed by a large group of crazy, toy-hungry kids.
I thought, what can I do for Samuel before I leave that might stick with these kids? So I proclaimed loudly, (me being loud, shocker, I know) that Samuel was the coolest kid I met that day and he was my new best friend.
I then picked two older boys, in the photo above, who had been following us all day and told them it was now their job to look out for Samuel and to stand up for him. They understood and even suggested we pinky promise.
I got so excited as we drove off. Both of those boys were still standing by Samuel like sentinels and this quit little boy with the bum leg, became bigger than life.