The two towns appeared close; approximately an inch separated Arusha and Karatu in Tanzania. ‘One inch’ translated into a three-hour drive, one way. Better map-reading would have allowed fear to keep me in Arusha. But a Love lesson awaited, just an inch away.
In Karatu, two Compassion Centers added wood and metal shops to provide valuable and practical trades for the young people. While my husband climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, my itinerary included traveling ‘one inch’ to Karatu with a driver and a Compassion International guide.
When we arrived, the work shops buzzed with activity. I watched, learned, and praised the young people. Then, I tried to plane and weld (the first time in my life). My amateur attempts provided great entertainment for my gracious and kind hosts.
Love came close. Very close. Love ran into open arms. Love poured out through smiles, touches, and giggles. Love held hands, kissed foreheads, and sang “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”.
Love came so close, it nearly knocked me to the ground. As the children gushed Love; I drank in every drop.
When Love questioned the color of my skin, I rubbed my arms to demonstrate its permanency. Love accepted; differences cast aside. A stranger loved as family. Love came close.
Love came close in a humble manger, on a bloody cross, and in an empty grave. Arms open wide. Love came close as darkness turned to Light, Heaven roared, and the stone rolled away. Love arose and came close.
The children of Karatu demonstrated Love in each warm embrace and bright smile. Love came close. This Easter may we feel the closeness of His Great Love.
Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18 (NIV)
Throughout 2019, I’ll share a story of encouragement inspired by a child.
April 2019: The children of Karatu brought Love close.
March 2019: Celebrate the highs and help carry the lows. But be present for both. Happy Birthday, Israel.
February 2019: Pray so others will know Jesus like Rosmeiry’s father.
January 2019: Joy, thanks to a handsome charro.