Of all the experiences I could share after returning a couple weeks ago from Sierra Leone with the 25 Project, here is one unforgettable memory from my time there.
Upon the boys’ arrival at the Hope Center for camp the first day, I was looking for a few boys I was more familiar with because of stories I have heard from my husband, Kent, or the fact that I have family and friends who sponsor them through the 25 Project’s Name Changers program.
One boy I was looking for was Ibrahim, my mother-in-law’s sponsored child. I knew much of his story, had talked about him and prayed for him. I was VERY excited to meet him face to face! I also wanted to share a hug and give love from my mother-in-law and our entire family! He was one I quickly found and I immediately could see his countenance to be so joyful! His smile will light up a room and his joy is so contagious. This one, this child of God, is truly changed by Him. Ibrahim was one that was so eager in one of the camps last year to hear more about Jesus’ love for him and wanted to accept His free gift of grace as quickly as possible! Very quickly, in one conversation with me, he opened up about his story.
Ibrahim shared that he was saving money little by little for a Bible. He didn’t ask me or anyone else for a Bible, but he was just sharing his heart. He wants to KNOW Him. It was what he wanted most at this point in his life. God’s Word. God’s love letter to us.
Wow. I was moved to tears when Ibrahim was expressing this heartfelt desire. I knew in my heart that we were giving Bibles to the boys later that week, but I wasn’t sure exactly when. I didn’t tell him, but I couldn’t WAIT to get this treasure in his hands!!!
The next day, Charles Yimbo passed out the Bibles. Each boy at camp received their very own. Ibrahim ran through the crowd to find me, held it up, shook it in front of me and said, “I have my Bible! I have my Bible!” He began to thumb through it and try to find verses he might be familiar with. Like all the boys, Ibrahim quickly wrote his name on it, and shared that this was his very first Bible. Not only that, but he shared that this Bible was actually his very first book to call His own.
My heart was overflowing with joy! To see such passion, and to see God moving in an incredible way in the life of this precious young man, was something I will never forget! I can’t wait to see what God does in Ibrahim’s life and the influence he will have on those around him!
Please join me in prayer for Ibrahim specifically, and those boys receiving the love of Christ through Charles, Patrick, Daniel, and Vandi…men who are investing in these boys on an ongoing basis in Sierra Leone. Pray these children will respond to the Gospel being shared with them, and that they will desire a hope and future with Him! With Him, ALL things are possible!