There is a beautiful young Thai girl that comes to Youth Group each Saturday. One Saturday a couple of weeks ago she did not come to Youth Group, but when Bill and I went back to the Youth Center early that evening we saw her with two other girls. The three girls were playing in the small dead end street where the Youth Center is located. I pulled the car over and Bill ran into the Youth Center to take care of some things.
The girls ran to the car, so I put down my window and we started talking. I asked the young girl why she had not been at Youth Group, and she told me that she had forgotten because of the new time. I told her that we had missed her at Youth Group. Her mouth fell open and she looked at me with complete disbelief. . .she really could not imagine someone missing her. My eyes welled up with tears at the look of total surprise on this young girls face.
You see her mother is dead, she does not know who her father is, and her sister is in a not-so-good business, so her grandmother takes care of her. No matter the day or the time we go to the Youth Center, if this little girl is not at school – she is playing in the road.
The moment she sees our car she drops everything, literally, and runs toward the car waving, smiling and yelling “Hello” in her limited English. The joy that emanates from her is beautiful to see.
Before I even turn into the Youth Center, she begs me to put the car window down so that I can give her a kiss. So of course I do.
She grins from ear to ear as I pull into the Youth Center driveway. As soon as I get out of the car her little arms encircle me in a big hug and she turns her face up to me for another kiss. She then skips along beside me, offering to carry anything and everything I have in my hands.
If I am there to clean up the Youth Center, she grabs a broom or a cloth to dust. If I go out to clean the bathrooms, she follows me and looks for some way that she can help. If her two little friends are with her, they find something to play with and beg her to join them, but she will not leave my side.
My heart is filled to overflowing every time I am greeted by this thin little girl, who is just thrilled to spend time with us.
Writing this has reminded me of my incredible joy in the presence of the Lord as described in Psalm 16:11 -
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”