“There she is!” 8-year-old Leo said loudly to his sisters, as he ran towards me yesterday.
The first time I met Leo, his brother and sisters was a few months ago when I was sweeping the street beside our house. In our neighborhood, everybody has sand in their yard instead of grass. When it rains, the street becomes covered with sand and trash as a result of the flowing water. As I swept our street on that first day, I noticed the children watching me. They were just quietly observing me until Lina, who is 10 years old, started to help me.
“Thank you, Lina. Removing all the litter will make our street look very nice,” I said.
When Leo and his little brother saw what Lina and I were doing, they excitedly helped me collect the remaining trash and put it into bags. Soon we had the cleanest street in our neighborhood!
Another time as I was trimming the bushes in front of our house, Leo and Lina and eight other children saw me raking the sticks and leaves. They knew how to help me already because we had become friends. With many hands helping me collect all the leaves and put them into bags, our yard became clean very quickly! When we finished, I offered them cookies, recommending that everybody wash their hands before eating. All the boys and girls were excited to receive a cookie!
Yesterday, I baked a cake to surprise Leo and Lina. I wanted to meet their mother and tell her how her children had been so helpful to me in keeping our street clean. I wanted to become friends with her, too. When I approached their house, Leo saw me coming and said loudly, “There she is!”
“Where is your mother?” I asked. “I would like to meet her.”
Their mother greeted me and was genuinely pleased to meet me. As I presented the cake to her, I saw the smiles on Leo’s and Lina’s faces grow big! Their mother smiled, too, as I gave her a religious book.
The children of our neighborhood now know us. When we drive past them, they wave at us and say, “Tcha, tcha, tcha!” which means bye-bye. Our hearts yearn for these children and their parents. We want them to learn to love Jesus. Please keep Leo, Lina, and the other children in your prayers.