We All Need a Smile

Today most of the beds were built so I found myself in what I am titling the orphan suite. This suite was downstairs and had two nice rooms with three beds each, private bathrooms, and a gathering room in between. The electric drills were upstairs in the larger rooms so we had the handy hand drill to build these 6 beds. Natasha, one of the girls who lived in the suite, was sweeping the floors when I arrived to work. Later, I found out she had a headache and went to her room to lie down. She had a hard time lying down since we had taken her bed away and stripped down the room. Poor girl. Well, we didn’t know she felt ill so we asked her to work (build a bed). She smiled softly and after much non-translated encouragement she used the hand drill to build the bed. Although we could not have a conversation the smile on her sweet face and the creaking drill sounds filled the room.

When the beds were built our wonderful interpreter showed up and we asked Natasha some questions. She sat quietly on the bed and barely had an answer. I did find out she stays in the room by herself, she is 17 years old, and has lived at this orphanage for 10 years. I then took her up to the bed-making headquarters to pick out some sheets (the only ones left: the illusion of choice is only a small fib). We walked together back down to her room and made her bed together, and sat down on the bed while Anatole translated this one-on-one talk. I told her why we brought her the bed and how much God loves her. Then asked I asked how we could pray for her. She said her mom has passed away and her dad is in prison. She also said she didn’t have many friends and she didn’t know what she would do when she leaves. As I began praying with her and for her she teared up, it was hard for me to continue hearing her quiet weep. I am finding that praying or speaking with through a translator offers invaluable time to think about your words. Mostly this is great but partly this made it even more emotional. I ended the prayer with an amen.

Later in the afternoon I found Natasha during arts and crafts and asked her how she was doing and she said good with a sweet shy smile. I pray that her story becomes not a sad shy one but filled with new beginnings and a spirit-filled life.

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