It was a Thursday night in June 2014. I sat behind the backstop fence watching my boys play little league. I am such a proud mommy. My daughter runs up to me, asking to go to a choir concert, something about orphans from Africa and it starting at 7. So I tell her go ahead. She asks if I am coming..”sure why not? I will be there in a few minutes”. Cram in a few more minutes of the game and off I run to the school. My daughters waiting and watching for me as she goes from the gym to the hallway, with excitement written all over her face she says, “Mom hurry, you’ve already missed fifteen minutes”.
The next two and a half hours changed our lives forever. We watched as Watoto Choir 64, brought to our community by a local church, sang of Jesus Christ and His love, hope and healing. They shared their stories of being orphaned and being down in the spirit but then how Jesus gave them love, hope and joy. Their smiles and hope came from such a sacred place inside of them. They were a true expression of what Joy in Christ means. Joy inspire of circumstances. I cried as they sang the song, “Lord I need you, Oh I need you, every hour I need you, my defense my righteousness, O God how I need you.” My Husband and I sang this song in 2013, when we redid our vows, at Murphy Flowage in the beautiful drizzly fall landscape. How their idea of needing God is so much more desperately sung then our idea of our need of God.
At the conclusion of the concert they asked anyone who wanted to be pray for could come forward and be prayed over by the aunties and uncles. For a few minutes no one moved and the invitation was given several more times, as everyone continued to sit silently still in their seats. Then my daughter got up out of her chair and started walking to the front. Caught of guard, I got up and went up behind her, asking her as we proceeded to the front, “what are you doing?”. She said she felt like she was suppose to go up there. So she went up and asked for prayer, a prayer regarding our struggles at home with one of our sons. She was repenting for how she treated him and wanted to be healed of heart condition towards him. I learned in that moment, that I too needed forgiveness, so as the Ugandan man prayed for my daughter I quietly cried out to my Father in heaven asking Him to forgive me and to heal my heart and my thoughts towards my son. After she walked up front people had the courage to come up and to be prayed for. Many women came up to me afterwards and said how moved they were by my daughters willingness to go forward to be prayed for at such a young age. I saw her open the hearts of people. I saw her help people overcome fear, doubt and worry about what others might think. God is so good! Afterwards she told me she realized that her feet were moving her upfront without her moving them..so in her heart she just went, “okay God if you want me to go up I will”. So in her faithfulness to her Father she went forward and allowed Him to show her a place she needed to allow Him in to overcome… and showed my that they way we view and treat others can affect the hearts of those around us..to take a precious, beautiful heart and turn in cold and uncaring..we must be careful with our hearts and guard them in Christ.
We sat that night, amazed at the love and joy you could see in and through each of them. We wanted to support the choir so we purchased some handmade purses, necklaces and bracelets to support the Watoto Ministry in Uganda. We also sponsored some children from their villages back in Uganda.
We were able to visit with the choir as we helped them tear down their equipment and get it packed onto their bus. They gathered around the center of the gym to get ready to go home with their host families. Even though we were not a host family we were invited to be a part of their prayer time. I felt so led to pray for their covering. I asked my daughter to ask one of the “aunties” if it would be okay if we prayed. She was very grateful. So my daughter prayed first and I second. God poured out so many scriptures as we prayed that night. One that I vividly remember is, “Beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news”. Tears came down as I held hands with two orphans from Africa, as did my son Tyler and daughter Brianna, as we prayed, united in Christ as family, for Gods protection over them. This was a taste of the family of God, and how large and vast it is.
The girl that was holding my left hand, held on loosely, fearful, timid and unsure. I questioned whether or not to continue to hold her hand and God confirmed in my spirit that I should hold on to her with my hand and heart. As I prayed the most beautiful thing happened. The more I prayed and Gods spirit flowed out, the tighter she gripped my hand. By the time I was done she was holding onto me as tightly as I was holding onto her, with her hand and her heart. At the end of the prayer she turned to me and gave me a big hug and thanked me for the “beautiful prayer”, as tears streamed down her innocent cheeks. Oh my heart was overwhelmed.
At the end of the evening families were dividing up and one of the Uncles came up and introduced himself and asked if we would come to meet them the next day where they get together to pray before they move onto the next city. He said to be there at 8:30..I said “okay”, with anticipation filling up inside of me wondering what tomorrow would hold.
We held the doors open as each of those little orphans, that are not really orphans at all, because they have God as a father, took their bags to the vehicles waiting for them. As I opened the front doors to the school and watched them walk out I realized that God had opened the door to my heart so they could walk in. Being able to hug and high five each little one that walked out in front of us was such a blessing as we saw each smiling face, as they skipped off to their resting places for the night. Each Auntie and Uncle gave hugs joy and gratitude. What they couldn’t see though was the fact that we were more blessed by meeting them then they could have ever been by meeting us.
This moment in time changed the course of our life forever…