Last week I wrote about the blessing my husband and I received as we hosted two teen-age boys from Liberia in our home. They were part of the Matsiko World Orphan's Choir. Their leader that accompanied them in our home told me that the boys had been instructed to bring nothing to the United States. The organization provided everything for them. The choir travels with few changes of clothing because of limited space. These children are used to having very little.
On the second night of the their stay, they observed my husband working in his puzzle books. They wanted to complete a puzzle with him. Naturally the adult books were too difficult for the boys. The next day while the boys were busy with the choir, my husband and I went shopping. We bought the boys new underwear and two Word Search books for adolescents. Each book cost $1.00. Now can you think of anything else that can be bought for $1.00?
The choir was busy all day and didn't arrive home until 8:30 p.m. As the boys entered the back door, I said, "You boys might have a surprise on your beds." They ran to the room where they had been sleeping and stopped just outside the door. They each covered their eyes with their hands and said, "Don't turn on the light yet. We aren't ready." I got a little nervous. I thought I hope they aren't disappointed. It's a dollar book and underwear. The boys felt their way around the furniture and when they were ready I turned on the light. They were so excited about those cheap books and underwear. It was hard to believe. They both grabbed me in a big bear hug and then went looking for my husband. I told them to get ready for bed and after we had our story time and prayer I'd let them stay awake for a little while working their puzzles in bed.
At 10:15 p.m. they were still working the puzzles when I told them to turn the lights out. The next morning I awoke at 6:40. The boys were awake, dressed, beds made and working puzzles. After breakfast my husband said, "Come on boys. Let's go out on the porch." They replied, "Okay, we'll be right there." Then they ran into their room retrieved the puzzle books and went out on the porch. At 9:45 a.m. they were still working on the puzzles when their leader told them to put their duffel bags in the car. We took them to the church to meet with the group. They got out of the car and sat down on the sidewalk to work in their puzzle books. Before the group left, each boy showed us that he had completed 25 puzzles in his book.
The joy those $1.00 puzzle books brought two teen-age boys was amazing. We are so spoiled in the United States we fail to appreciate the small pleasures in life. These boys who had so little seized every moment and cherished it. While visiting us, the choir took their first boat ride. The children loved it. The two boys who had stayed with us were excited that they could see Louisiana across the lake. Such small things that mean so little to us meant an unforgettable moment to these children.