Giving blankets (by Joy)

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We started out the day giving away blankets to all 657 children in the school. They only gave them to the children in school (we weren’t financially able to give them to the other children who came in from the villages as they heard the news) as a gift. We couldn’t financially afford to give them mattresses at this time (post on giving mattresses away sometime soon I hope!), but I couldn’t hardly handle absorbing the emotions of this experience. All the kids quietly stood in line with their classmates and waited while we un-packaged the bags that the blankets were packed in. Then it was our job to hand out blankets to children that basically own the clothes on their back (their school uniform that we provided two years ago) and hopefully one other outfit, if that. I just bawled crying while I handed them out. I couldn’t grasp that this was the only thing (besides their school uniform) that they had ever been given to have as their own personal possession for comfort– that they would sleep on the ground each night, or if they were fortunate they might have been given a small mat. But they do not even have the haven of a bed to lay their head to rest. They don’t have a mosquito net to keep the bugs from flying all over them while they sleep. They are in utter poverty and some of the happiest, most content, grateful, obedient & God-ward focused students I have ever met. Once all the children had received their blankets (notice that they waited until then)– they screamed and yelled in elation. They couldn’t believe their new present of love– they laughed and danced in joy. They hugged us and beamed with smiles stretching from ear to ear. They ran home to show their mammas– which is so insanely humbling– to think that most of these children don’t readily receive much affection- either from their parents (it is not culturally normal to have lots of physical touch) [some of whom are off working] or many of the children are orphans and do not have parents to love on them at all. The blanket is a small way of telling them that we love them as a vessel of their Creator God who loves them so much more. A blanket is a source of security and comfort– almost a physical way of receiving love. How many blankets do we have in our home (5? 15? 20?)? We are physically giving them the opportunity to receive a touch of love from God. It was so humbling. Thank you for your prayers as we are so insanely blessed to serve this incredible group of people.

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