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  • Writer's pictureJanet Myers

Our First Ever Library

So there I was, cleaning and organizing with Sue Ann in the brand new Library on our last Saturday in Kenya. How this Library actually came to be is a miracle, but I'll save that for another time! We had kept the Library a secret from the kids. If any students would come up to the door, we would gently let them know that this was a special secret and they needed to wait until another time to come in. But on this last Saturday at our school, several kids from the neighborhood squeezed and peeked quietly in. Their faces reminded me of children's faces on Christmas morning waiting and anticipating what was to come. Sue Ann invited them in. Wonder. Awe. Excitement. We were on Holy Ground. Sitting on the bright green rug, they whispered to each other in reverence. Never being in a Library before, this was a new experience that we were privileged to be part of. Books, murals, and butterflies surrounded them and they seemed to hold their breath as they looked around. Have you ever been excited to read through a Dictionary? These kids leafed through with intention, soaking in the colors, the pictures, and the words. About 7 kids sat in hushed tones and they helped each other put together puzzles. Four kids were still outside the door patiently waiting for their turn to cross the Library threshold and into another "world" from what they are used to. I asked, "Would you like to read some books with me?" Receiving a definite Yes, I grabbed a couple of brightly colored books and we sat just outside the door on the cement. The four of us huddled together. And as I opened the book, we lingered on each page, noticing the vibrant colors in the illustrations. The words had a rhyming cadence and they read right along with me in unison. There were times when my eyes would tear up and I would just soak in their voices reading with Kenyan inflections. This holy moment was so special to me and I was the one in awe and wonder. A Library may not be on everyone's sacred moments list, but for me, being part of this creative space where kids can imagine, dream, and learn about this big, beautiful world God made, is something I cherish. Spending these moments with my young Kenyan friends was pure and priceless. I like to think that Jesus smiled right along with us. And making the time to be available proved to be one of my favorite moments. There's beauty in availability. There's joy in taking time together. Jesus said to love your neighbor. And I find that my neighbor doesn't always have to be in close proximity to me. It's about relationships---REALationships. Kenya REAL


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