Skip to main content

Hunger for a father’s love

rimg0648 771b8a39
A few years ago I met Eric and Jen Peterson at a conference we held at AIM. Since then, God has called them to Swaziland. They are doing a great job there as they consistently show God’s love to those who need it most. Jen files this report. We were visiting a carepoint this morning, Joyel…
By Seth Barnes
rimg0648
A few years ago I met Eric and Jen Peterson at a conference we held at AIM. Since then, God has called them to Swaziland. They are doing a great job there as they consistently show God’s love to those who need it most. Jen files this report.
We were visiting a carepoint this morning, Joyela. The children here seem to live up to that name: Joyela…place of joy!
The head go-go akes the
time to really know the children. If I ask her about one of
the little ones, she always takes my hand, looks me in the eyes and
tells me about their unique situation.
 
Today, she pointed out one of the
younger boys. He couldn’t be older than 2 or 3 years old. He sat
quietly on a mat, away from the other children. He did not stand up to
participate in the singing and dancing that they all enjoy so much. He
did not line up to recite his alphabet or numbers along with his
classmates. His face was full of sadness. His dark eyes held deep pain.
 
“He used to run to greet me each morning.” Nellie (the go-go)
sighs. “Now his mother tells me he doesn’t even want to come to school.”
After shaking her head slowly she continues: “His father died, about
six months ago. I think it has changed him. He is not the same.”
 
This story is one that is being lived over and over here in
Swaziland. It is a story, unfortunately, we have heard so many times
even in our short time here. This morning, however, it landed in a
deeper place in my heart. As Nellie was telling the story of this little
boy losing his daddy, I was watching him walk around the room. His eyes
were scanning the door, the window…back to the door. A low, almost
silent sobbing is coming out of his mouth.  He’s looking for his father…the
thought pricked my soul with such force that I found myself breathless
for a few seconds. I got up off the floor and walked outside to get some
fresh air.
 
My heart was breaking for this little guy who is too young
to even have the vocabulary to put into words what he must be feeling.
How does a child so young begin to process this? I do the only thing I
know to do: go back inside to find him. I try to sit next to him on the
floor, but he moves away after a moment. Another young lady on our
ministry team tries to coax him onto her lap for a cuddle but she has no
success in that attempt. She and I look at one another. We don’t say
anything, but I think we are both feeling a bit defeated.
 
After a little while, I decide to walk back outside and see what is
happening. As my eyes adjust to the bright sunlight, my heart quickens
in my chest at what I see in front of me. Eric is standing in the middle
of the play area with this little boy in his arms. He has arms wrapped
around him and he is whispering into his ear. I know instantly that he
is praying blessings over this little boy. As I watch, I can almost see
the little boy’s body relax and melt into Eric’s embrace. He is no
longer scanning his surroundings. He is looking at Eric and he is
feeling love. A father’s love, holding him tight in the middle of a
noisy, busy play yard.

 
This encounter certainly won’t take away the pain and loss that
this little one has had to bear in his brief time on this earth.
However, please pray along with us that somehow it may have eased it a
bit. That tonight as this precious boy drifts off to sleep he will be
reminded of the arms that held him today and he will know the Father’s
Love.
 
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is
this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…”  James
1:27a
 

Comments (7)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

about team