I was sitting in the living room of the big house in Haiti, watching the children. Some were doing their homework, a couple were practicing guitar with Mike and the little girls were getting their hair braided for school the next day. That’s when Odlyn came out and sat next to me. He said that he wanted to give me something. There was no way that I was going to take anything from this young boy who owns very little, but I waited to see what he had for me.
First he brought out a little baggie with pictures in it. Jocasta’s mom had come to visit and sent each of the children a note and pictures from her time in Haiti. I told him that he needed to keep those pictures because they were special but that I would take pictures of them on my phone so I had a copy also. He agreed with that idea but soon he said “wait, I have something else for you.” He ran back into his room and came out with a little ice blue box that had “Tiffany’s” written on the lid. He had no idea that that little box usually represents a major investment of jewelry! He said, “I want you to have what is inside.”
Can I just stop for a moment and say that I adore this boy?! I love that he was searching through his meager possessions to give me something. I was deeply touched by the gesture and felt like my heart would burst out of love for him. He slowly and carefully took off the rubber bands that held the box lid on. As he opened it I saw the contents. There were three party toothpicks, the decorative kind that people use for hors d’oevres. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE THOSE PARTY TOOTHPICKS! Haha! They are fun and festive. Odlyn also had about ten little rubber bands inside this little box. He said I could have anything in that box that I wanted. I said that if he could fit in that box, I would choose him!
The thing about these toothpicks is that this is how Odlyn makes a little money. He takes paper that is shaped like a long triangle and rolls the wide part onto the toothpick, continuing to roll until the pointed end of the paper is on top. He then glues it and it looks like a bead! Odlyn was really offering to give away his tools of the trade! I told him I wanted him to keep those things so he could keep making bracelets but that I would never forget that box and his kind offer!
Ephesians 5:2 says “Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with Him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of Himself to us. Love like that.” The Message
I felt like this little boy loved me extravagantly that day. I want to love like Odlyn, giving so unselfishly, without regard to what it will cost. I really want to love like Jesus loves. His love is perfect and wonderful to experience. Jesus gave everything, He gave His life. Love was His motivation.
The Lord said in Isaiah 49:16 “I have written your name on the palms of my hands…” That’s a personal and loving Father!
Continue to pray for the health of the children. Pray that they have a wonderful Christmas. Thank the Lord that He has a plan for each of those children. Your prayers on their behalf make a difference!
--- Relna Mansfield is the Project 7 Administrative Manager for New Reality International. She sends out weekly prayer emails and would love to get you on the list! Simply email her at firstname.lastname@example.org with your request.