Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Someone's Child....God's child.....

This was written by Brooke on her recent trip to Ethiopia, accompanying a friend in bringing home her daughter. It touched my heart....I wanted to share it:

"A boy came my way with a wooden box. I asked him if he could clean my shoes. It was more to help the child than due to the filth of my shoes. I honestly didn't even know what to do now that I had inlisted his services. He told me to sit on the step of a shop. That didn't seem right since obviously no one could get in or out, but I did as directed. He picked up my sneaker and placed it on the box. Dipped a sponge into murky water which he carried in a yellow, plastic pail that was once filled with vegetable oil, and began to wash my shoe. I quickly told him it was good enough and he moved to the next shoe.

Out of no where, the police woman came at us. She struck him in the back with her open hand and his body jerked. I sat straight and stern- in my most serious voice told her that I had ASKED for his services as she then walked off.

The boy cocked his head sideways and his eyes met mine. His heart was broken. His spirit shattered... What could I do?

I felt so terrible for him. Like most all of the other boys who clean shoes, he does it to pay for his food, school, and school books. They usually live on the floor of a nearest relative and their parents are usually deceased. He is trying all he knows to do when he should be playing and not worrying about such grown up matters. And then to be beaten and told his efforts are of no value- Just wrong. Sick.

I overpaid him. Way overpaid him. I didn't know what more one could possibly do. He nodded his head in thanks and scurried away in order to avoid another lashing from the police. I took a moment and prayed for him..."

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