I just recently returned from visiting our kids in Sierra Leone in October. I wanted to share with you a quick update regarding the time I spent there.
Repeatedly in the Bible we see that God was a person of personal relationship. He loved to talk to His people and many times communicated that love through touch. There has been much research done in the power of touch. Jesus certainly held a supernatural power in His touch.
In Matthew 8:1-3 it reads, “When he came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cured of his leprosy.”
Jesus could have spoken the words and the leopard would have been made clean. Instead, Jesus
chose to touch the man with leprosy to make him clean. Jesus knew the importance of this leopard being touched. He was likely not touched during the duration of his illness. We don’t know how long that was, likely years.
As I reflect on my time in Sierra Leone this past week, two things were so profound and deeply moving. One, the kids in Sierra Leone were so surprised, maybe even shocked, that I had returned. To say that they were caught off guard would be appropriate. Little did they know that that the blessing was more mine than theirs.
The second thing that was so profound was that they were surprised that I was willing to touch them. You see, for over a year now they have been told not to touch anyone for fear of contracting Ebola. So, that I would come was one thing but that I would embrace them and shake their hand. I could sense a reaction there on their part. Another surprise. A connection they may have not felt in some time.
This did not occur to me right away. But later, after reflection, God brought this story to mind, the story of the leopard. What a great privilege it was for me to serve these orphans and vulnerable children in Sierra Leone. As I return, we continue the work here stateside. As I may have overwhelmed the children with seemingly such small gestures, the Lord overwhelms us with joy through your faithfulness to us. Thank you!