Last week, the Kingdom Families interns and local staff had the opportunity to minister at a preschool in Boma, a town about 45 minutes from Moshi.
Our first day there was spent playing a lot of games to allow the kids to warm up to having 4 new teachers for the week. We watched as shyness turned into pure joy and guards were let down for us to be able to minister to these children. The smiles these kids had on their faces simply to play games with us was such a beautiful thing to see. Childlike joy is something we could all use more of and is something we found in abundance at our time helping out at the preschool. One of my favorite parts of the day was after games, we began to teach them songs in English. As they are English learners, we don’t know if they understood them fully, but there is something so universal about singing songs and dancing your heart out.
Each day started off very similarly, with these games and songs, but the second half of the day looked different depending on age group. There were 3 age groups at this preschool and I had the privilege of being with the youngest group of kids who were all around the age of three. We counted all the way to one hundred, we practiced colors by pointing out who was wearing what color, and we sang head, shoulders, knees, and toes to learn our body parts. It was such a sweet blessing from the Lord to be put with the little ones who didn’t know much yet but had the desire to learn. The wonder that children have is such a beautiful thing to be reminded of, especially as adulthood too often robs you of that same joy and awe you too once found in life.
One of the coolest things, in the experience I have had in working with children of other cultures is the ways you get to experience the language barrier broken. I have seen this in many ways and different degrees but I am continually reminded when overseas, that joy is the universal language. I may not always be able to speak to these sweet kids, but the Lord has given us laughter and smiles as a way to still connect with people of different cultures. That to me, is such a beautiful thing that the Lord has given us all. The Spirit of joy within us overcomes all languages.
Something the Lord reminded me of while helping out at the preschool is how quickly children get comfortable with people. Once you come around enough, the children are going to be drawn to you and are going to trust you. Children always see the best in people and are drawn to joy. It encouraged me to be the goofiest version of myself and to have fun with them and not be afraid to look like a fool for Jesus. Way too often, I feel like we are afraid to do this and let fear call us away from being our true selves. These children reminded me to never take myself too seriously and to never be afraid to be a fool for Jesus.
Throughout my time in Tanzania, I continue to experience what Kingdom Families believes when they say that every child deserves a family. It is where we all belong, it is something every person on this earth should be apart of. I find great hope knowing that majority of the children in Morning Light Preschool have loving families back home waiting for them. However, I know that a few of them don’t have that and my heart breaks for them. Something I have been realizing though, is that what my heart is breaking for now, the Father’s heart has been breaking for for quite some time now. He is calling us all to action. We all have our part, as families and churches, in being what these children need. It is what we were created for.