Our new adoptive country of Georgia absolutely loves children. Do you want people to open their doors to you? Bring your kids. Do you want the market sellers to be honest about the authenticity of their honey? Tell them you are feeding it to your child. Do you need a seat on the metro? You’ve got three, because everybody jumped up at the sight of your baby. Do you want to make sure your landlord doesn’t change his mind about keeping you until the end of the agreement? This is never an issue, because you have kids, and he would never leave them without a home.
Even knowing all this, our experience in the stationery shop one day was at least surprising.
Being new to Georgia and in desperate need of envelopes, we were thrilled to find this little shop. Soon little Oliver was admiring some colored magnets on a shelf. Knowing that our refrigerator at home was looking like a Christmas tree covered with all kinds of magnets, I didn’t offer to buy any for him. However, his interest didn’t go unnoticed by the owners, two relatively young men. What happened next really took me by surprise. One of them took the magnets from the shelf, wiped the dust off of the package and, with a smile, handed it to our son.
I have received many gifts in my life, some of them quite valuable, but I don’t remember many times when I was moved to tears by such a nice gesture. Never before have I received free merchandise in a store just because my child liked it. We walked out that day feeling so encouraged and welcome, wondering at how something as ordinary as a few magnets had made our day.
And a child shall lead them, I thought for myself. God knew that my worst fears about moving to a foreign country were related to my children. Maybe this was His way of letting me know that my children will be loved and happy here in Georgia. And that they, indeed, will open many doors for Him.
Georgia celebrates International Children’s Day on June 1. Happy Children’s Day, little missionaries!