Today, we traveled to Cahul to see one of our camp leaders, and other campers graduate high school. There is nothing like surprising a group of kids at their school. I’ve done it a few times, but never with Daniel there too.
If you remember last year we had problems with the director at this school. Well, she was not happy to see us. She had a few choice words to our interpreter, but we stood their smiling, not backing down. After about 2 minutes she walked away with hands in the air saying, “If I see you passing out invitations to your camp I will kick you out!” Assuming we won, we went on our way upstairs being led by a crowd of children. The graduation was different than in the states. They had the children performing Moldovan dances, waltz’ and fun style. Some Deaf children were forced to speak and not use their hands to show their parents their “improvement”. Although there was a teacher who signed throughout the ceremony, during the speeches of these children she did not… meaning only about 5 people in the room even knew what they were saying. I felt for them as they were forced to stand in front of their peers and not be able to use their natural language. Later, one of the graduates wanted to say a farewell to a teacher and he signed while another hard of hearing graduate voiced for the teacher…. the teacher at the Deaf school who doesn’t know sign… doesn’t that blow your mind?
I don’t think I can express accurately the love that we felt upon arrival. There were some kids waiting at the gate to greet parents. One girl, Lena, saw me through the window and signed, “BECKY!” and began to run with our car down the road to the school. I rolled my window down and she grabbed my hand as we drove and she ran along side. It was the sweetest thing. Before we were parked more and more kids were running up to our car to greet us. There was only a handful I had never met, so it was a greeting long over due! One by one they realized we were there and the excitement filled the atmosphere. A group of about 15 led us through the school and up to the graduation. We were hand in hand, kissed on and hugged the entire time!
I say all this out of pure joy. To feel that kind of love from a group of children was somewhat overwhelming! I have seen most of them as they’ve grown up, and love them all so much. We definitely felt the love in return! We love them with Christ’s love, unconditional and just where they are. The Word says that “the least will be the greatest” [Luke 13:30] and that “we are all children of God” [1 John 3:10]. Regardless of status, ability to hear or life situation, he loves us all the same! Paul said, “For God does not show favoritism”[Romans 2:11]. Praise God for that, because I know that I am far from perfect. Many of these children only receive love when we are with them at camp. It is nothing we are doing, but rather Christ’s love coming out of us for them! HIS love is like a magnet and it’s contagious!
When was the last time you loved on someone? Maybe a person who you normally wouldn’t? Just encouraged them in some way? Said something positive, lifted them up? Let Christ’s love inside of you beam out to the people around you! You are bound to feel the love in return! [The following verse was not just intended for your spouse.]
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. [1 Corinthians 13:4-7]