“You Came to Africa and Told Me”

One by one, I went about tucking the little ones in the other night. I snuggled my face right next to Elizabeth as I whispered to her while gazing into her gorgeous African eyes. She was fully engaged and whispering back and forth with me.

I said, “Elizabeth you are so beautiful! Do you really know how beautiful you are?” She said, “You came to Africa and told me.” I said, “You remember me telling you?” She looked me straight in the eye and said, “No one ever told me before you.” I then asked her if she heard her friends told that they were beautiful. She had. *tears* Can you imagine? Longing for those words. Wishing they were spoken to you. Waiting. But not once that she can remember.

I could hardly contain myself. Tears brimmed as I hugged my precious, tender-hearted treasure. My baby girl who was rescued at the last moment from life in an orphanage. {If you have not read her miracle story, it is at the sidebar under Our Wild Adventure Parts 1-6. Trust me! You will weep with joy at how she came home to us!} But how many little boys and girls around the world longing to hear those words? “You are beautiful. You matter. I’m so glad Jesus made you. You are so handsome. You are so strong. You have a gorgeous smile. You were perfectly made by God!” No doubt, Dw and I will spend the rest of our lives reassuring her that she is beautiful – made in the image of Almighty and Always Faithful God. But how many little ones have heard it said to those next to them in the orphanage but not to them? If you are going on a mission trip in the days ahead, issue Crazy Love – tell the waiting children that they are beautiful. Tell them that they matter. Tell them they are so handsome. Tell them they are perfectly made. Tell them you love them. Tell them the God of the Universe loves them. Please? Many people today have such a hard time saying, “I love you.” Even friends we have had for years and years struggle at the words. But really sweet friend, tell the orphans…tell them God loves them. Tell them you love them. It may be the only words of hope they hear. Ever.

25 thoughts on ““You Came to Africa and Told Me”

  1. Aww, Linny. You've brought me to tears again. I LOVE how your posts are SO the heart of GOD.

    I promise – truly I do – that when I finally get to Mali (for right now it seems like a lifetime away! 270ish days left to go) I will give them great bear hugs, hold them and tell them I love them, and let them know exactly how beautiful they are and how their Heavenly Father loves them so much that He sacrificed His one and ONLY Son for them.
    Linny, I plan to be changed -drastically changed – when I move to Mali; but, somehow I feel I am already changing. It's crazy, but my love for GOD has changed SO much this year already. GOD is preparing me for something. Something big. I often think, am I ever going to come back to live in the states? Right now, my answer is more than likely I believe GOD is telling me to stay there, for a while. I know it breaks my parents hearts, but I have to obey Him. GOD has called me to missions and I'm not looking back. I'M GOING.
    "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." Matthew 9:37-38.
    How can I stay behind when He has opened my eyes?

  2. That brings tears to my eyes. :*) Tears of sadness that she had never heard it before, but also with such pure joy that she will hear it everyday for the rest of her life now- and more importantly, that she will know that her Savior created in the image of such perfection and beauty. <3

  3. oh my gosh, oh my gosh. oh my gosh.
    Thank you Jesus that you handpicked Elizabeth for this family, so she could be raised a princess of the Most High! Thank you for these Godly people who are so close to your heart and want only what you want. Thank you that you spoke deeply to Elizabeth even as a young child. Father bless this little one and her family, Lord help her to hear your voice each day and know she is beautiful. amen.

  4. She is so beautiful, such a blessing from God, made perfectly by him!

    They are all so beautiful and need to hear those precious words!

    Hey, even I need to hear them sometimes! 😉

  5. She IS beautiful! I don't understand why no one would tell her that. I'm completely an outsider looking in, and I think she's beautiful.

  6. Hi Linny,
    I've been a stalker at your blog off and on since the fire…
    You're an absolutely fabulous mother and woman of God! I admire you!!!

    Reading through the story of how Elizabeth came to become part of your family moved me to tears! WOW!!!

    God has given me also a passion for orphans and he has made it clear that my husband and I are to take a first, exploratory trip to Uganda later this year.

    We'd like to connect with ministries that are already taking care of orphans (I'm particularly passionate about abandoned babies!). We see ourselves then supporting this/these ministry/ies from New Zealand, where we live and work with YWAM (I'm originally from Germany, my hubby is American).

    Would you be able to email me with info about the orphanage in Uganda that you adopted your two precious children from?

    My email is bettsfamily@watchdog.net.nz

    thanks so much!


  7. Oh Linny,
    I can't imagine being able to resist telling that little one she is beautiful! It is hard to believe that as young as she is, she recalls those "what was" so easily.

    I just returned from a mission trip to Vietnam. A lady on our team took hair bows and indeed the little girls relished in smiles and cheers as they sported their new hair.

    You have reinforced to me the need to tell the children (and some adults) I work with that I love them!

  8. What a precious, beautiful story orchestrated by our God! Thank you for sharing! i actually went to Kenya last summer and worked at a Deaf orphanage with some of God's most precious children. God has actually blessed me with the opportunity to go back this summer in July!! I cannot wait to get there again and love on them again!!!

  9. Oh wow,this is the most beautiful post – I can't put into words what I want to express!!! Beautiful- how she remembered the day that the waiting for the words from her mummy to her was over, eventhough she was so young. I'm totally turned upside down… she is one beautiful girl..
    Thank you. x

  10. Wow, Linny she is precious and she is beautiful!

    As I snuggle my newest treasure just home from Korea I can only thank God for allowing me to be his momma where I can tell him everyday how loved he is.


  11. What a precious and priceless story. Thank you so much for sharing. She is a beautiful brown button eyed baby girl.
    This is so touching.

    visiting from 100 Minus One Day.

  12. I have to say Elizabeth has made it into at least one of my dreams — and I was thrilled to see her beautiful face! Thank you for sharing that story, Linny! God is SO good!!

    (Pastor's wife and Mommy to 4 precious treasures)

  13. Oh, Linny, I had missed reading this. What a NEEDFUL message. All children are beautiful, fearfully and wonderfully made. How many do we pass by? How many are not offered a smile? How many are NOT told they are beautiful?

    I'm so ready to go back on a mission trip. Right NOW!

    I have thought that God is saying, Wait, next year….

    And, maybe he is….

    But, I am ready to say, "You are beautiful," to every child I meet, every widow I feed, every person I touch.

    God is good. I thank Him for sending you to us, to share and challenge us.

    Many blessings!

  14. This touched me so deeply. One of my friends has been following your blog for quite a while and just recently got me to follow as well. I had an amazing beautiful friend whose mission it was to "change the world by loving on people." She was so loving toward every person that she met. She would hug them, tell them they were beautiful and that God made them perfectly and just fully love on them. She was killed 2 and a half years ago but her legacy lives on in the lives of those who knew her. Because of her story and the encouragement that I know she would have given me, I am going on my first mission trip this summer. I am going to Nicaragua with Eagle Brook Church in partnership with Orphanetwork. I will be staying at an orphanage for a week and will have the opportunity to just love on those kids for 7 whole days! I'm going to write down what you said and place it somewhere that I look every day to prepare myself to remember to tell those kids that they are beautiful and handsome and that God made them so amazing and perfectly and that He loves them.

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