The Biggest Smile

While visiting Lesotho last week, we kept a journal with the hopes of sharing about all of the exciting things we were seeing, learning, and experiencing. Here is the journal entry from our day working with the kids at the Khokhoba Care Center.

These posts are a part of a series, if this is your first time reading you may want to start here.


Wednesday & Thursday, January 6th – 7th, 2016

Over the last year, The Reclaimed Project has started two Orphan Care Centers in Lesotho, one in Khohlo-Ntso (which you can read about here) and one in Khokhoba. We had the privilege of spending two days working with the kids and the women at the Khokhoba Care Center.

Unlike Khohlo-Ntso, which is about a fifteen minute drive from our future home in Katse, Khokhoba is only a few minutes walk from our house – don’t worry, none of these village names will be on the quiz!

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When we arrived at the Khokhoba Care Center, the kids had not arrived yet. Many of the kids had to walk a long way to attend the Center, so Rachel and Leah jumped in the car and drove to pick several of the kids up.

As the kids spotted the car driving towards them, they would wave their arms and come running. They recognized the vehicle and knew we were going to pick them up.  Rachel thought it was so funny to see the kids climb in and all squeeze into the back, they were so happy and kept giggling as they drove back to the Center.

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Once all the kids had arrived, we began another great day of camp led by the team from New Orleans.

We taught about Daniel in the Lion’s Den, and how if we have God on our side, we do not need to fear anything. It was a great lesson and the kids really got into it. They even opened up about some fears they have.

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One of the most amazing things about the Khokhoba Care Center is that the women have really taken ownership of the program. They all work really well together, and have so much passion for the kids. It’s amazing to see!

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The women who run the Center, along with the pastor of Khokhoba Baptist Church have done a great job of taking their monthly income (which comes through the marketplace – we will be posting about that soon) and reinvesting it back into the Care Center.

In just one year they have been able to build a building, run electricity, and will be plastering and painting the walls soon too.

The women want to provide the best opportunities for the kids to succeed. They truly care about these kids as if they were their own.

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I quickly became attached to a boy named Ntene.

He has the biggest, most beautiful smile I have ever seen.

And he’s deaf.

When Ntene was a small boy, he became very sick. One of the complications of the sickness was that he lost his hearing. His mother had no interest in caring for a deaf child, so she abandoned him.

Because of the added communication barrier, we were only able to talk through nods, smiles, holding hands, and hugging.

I’m not sure what those small forms of communication translated to for him, but he was constantly cracking a smile, exhaling a deep, powerful laugh, and becoming unable to contain the joy that was welling in his heart. Those small expressions of love meant so much to him.

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I loved my interactions with Ntene.

He taught me so much about the importance of showing up and being present in a child’s life. The women at the Center struggle to communicate with him as well, but he still comes back each day, has grown in friendships with the kids and leaders, and is eager to learn everything he can about the love of Christ.

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Rachel and I are longing to return to Khokhoba and start building lasting relationships with all of these amazing kids. We were blown away by their openness, fun-loving spirits, and desire to know more about Jesus.

We are also extremely excited to pour into the women who lead this Center. They do such a phenomenal job and we can’t wait to get to know them more.

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With Love,
Tyler & Rachel

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4 thoughts on “The Biggest Smile

  1. Gloria January 17, 2016 / 6:08 pm

    So many beautiful smiles!

    Like

  2. Megan cichorz January 18, 2016 / 1:20 am

    Beautiful!!, what is the primary language there?

    Like

    • rmgoins15 January 22, 2016 / 9:14 pm

      The primary language spoken is Sesotho. Some people know English as well.

      Like

  3. Lue January 18, 2016 / 1:44 am

    Tyler, Rachel This is so touching to my heart as I read of your friend and his big smile. Long ago Hod began preparing your spirit to connect with him and minister to him. Your obedience had now brought blessing to him as well as to you, and now others of us as we read of your ministry! God has been faithful to truly “establish the work of your hands!”

    Tyler, Ask your dad to tell you about his experience with someone who also had a big smile and your dad called him “Smiley.”

    I love you both very much! 1 Cor 2:9 Gramma

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

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