Stephen & Laura Holt | Sierra Leone, West Africa

Suffer the Little Children to Come

Mark 10:14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

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Children and adults alike hearing and seeing the story of Jesus

 

Date of original journal entry: February 26-27, 2011

Friday Evening:

It’s 5:30 in the evening.  Evenings are brief this close to the equator; the sun sets quickly and although it’s quite bright now, it will soon be dark.  But there is another shade of darkness being drawn down over the landscape.

I’m standing on the brow of our hill looking out over the village as they prepare for a night of devilment.  The anticipation is electric, palpable.  The field has been enclosed with a high “wall” of sticks between which are fastened white rice sacks that have been sewn together for the purpose.  The sound crew is doing their lengthy and obnoxious sound check.  Children are excited, running to and fro awaiting the thrill of another cultural dance.  They are being silly and trying to sneak glimpses of what is happening inside the rice-sack wall.  They are laughing and playing as children will do.  I am weeping.

Once darkness falls they will pay their 5000 Leones – $1.25 – to go inside.  There they will be exposed to all manner of unimaginable fleshy filth.  Young girls will sell themselves.  Children will purchase alcohol, marijuana, and such.  Just children.

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“Tell me the story of Jesus, write on my heart every word”

Saturday Morning:

It is 5:30 in the morning.  I have had little sleep for the noise, chaos, and spiritual struggle.  The music has only stopped but a few minutes ago and I’ve come out to pray.  I’m standing in the same place looking out over our village.  How strangely quiet it seems after the frenzy of the night.  It’s still dark.  The late-rising moon is shining brightly.  The only thing I hear, other than frogs and crickets, is the sound of children laughing.  I see their silhouettes cast by the moon light against the white of the rice-sack wall.  They are running to and fro laughing, obviously amused by their shadows.  Just children.

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“Tell me the story most precious, sweetest that ever was heard”

 

They’re just children, babies really.  I am watching and listening, talking to the Lord and weeping.   As I watch, a recurring thought is brought to the foreground of my mind: What a sad waste of God-given beauty, intellect, talents, and abilities.  Flushed down the sewer of life like so much trash.  Just children who will never know the marvelous bloom of what they might have been.

Please don’t blame God; blame Adam as we, his children after the flesh, inherit his sin-cursed paradise.  And suffer the little children to come to Jesus.

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