The Purest of Pure Joy

March 28, 2014

What a week.

The first True Impact Team has come and gone just like that.  We had a great time minstering together and God definitely worked through each and every person on that team.  It was a blessing and pleasure to be a part of it.

Part of what the team brought with them were knapsacks from each child's sponsor.  Susie and Andy Stewart (the founders of True Impact), sent out drawstring bags to all of the sponsors to fill up for their children and brought all of them to hand out to the children while they were here.

I know what sponsorship does.  Or at least I thought I did.  But until tonight, I really don't think I've realized the true impact (no pun intended) that is made on these children by feeling loved by someone across the world.

After being gone from the Hoffman Home for a week because I have been with the team, I walked into the children's home tonight right after school when they got home.  I walked into the sitting room and shouted "Show me what you got!!! I want to see what you got from your sponsors!"  Immediately, 50 children dashed to their rooms, awaiting to show Auntie Sarah their new treasures.  I went into the boys room first, and helped "My Buddy", David, build his transformer.  And now I understand the obsession with those things.  They're SO COOL!!!  Besides that though, I just was in awe as I sat there, watching my buddy carefully examine each tiny piece, picking it up to make sure that it matches the picture in the instruction booklet.  Twisting and turning and snapping and bending, he finally gets it all put together with the most accomplished look on his face.  As I sat there and watched him, I just thought about how God has done this with me and every other child in this place.  How God literally designed us and shaped us (and in SO SO SO MUCH more detail than a transformer!).

I went over to the girls' side next.  There was a vast difference in reaction with the boys and girls.  The boys were sitting there, assembing legos and transformers and pushing toy cars around, and within 5 seconds of me walking into the girls' rooms I got bombarded with pictures of sponsors, with stuffed animals, with clothes, with letters, while each and every girl shouted "Teacher Sarah see me! Teacher Sarah and me! Teacher Sarah you see!"  I sat down and just marveled over each thing that the next girl placed on my lap.  These kids were just so excited to be loved.  I saw the girls putting on their Cherokee brand skirts and tank tops, their flowery headbands, their new striped blue and white flip flops, just eager to show me each and every thing that they have gotten from their sponsor.  "Teacher Sarah you see!" as Christine puts on her black velvet sparkly dress, putting her hands on her hips and shaking her rear end around like no american girl could possibly do.  I burst outloud giggling as all the other girls joined in on the wiggling hips fashion show that was taking place.  I have never seen such incredible joy and excitement.  Tears welled up in my eyes as I prayed "thank you thank you thank you..."  this joy that I saw was nothing but long awaited, rare, and PURE.

We had dinner and then I shared a devotion tonight before bed.  We sang songs as I realized how much I have missed closing my nights like this for the past week as the joy from them continued to radiate.  We sat and I shared with them.  I shared with them in their joy tonight, and encouraged them that if our sponsors love us this much, then how much MORE does our amazing God love us?  Those material gifts are so so SO exciting to get and receive, but the gift of life that we get from our Savior is so much more to be joyful and thankful and excited about! Just as the girls were exclaiming "teacher Sarah you see!  Teacher Sarah and me!", so should we shout for the attention of others in our lives in order that we may celebrate and take refuge in the incredible things God gives us each day of our lives!  I fail so often at recognizing that, of really having that same amount of joy that those children have tonight.  I pray that it can be a reminder for me--something that I strive to do each and every day now that I have seen joy in it's purest earthly form.  I pray that God will give all of us that joy to dance for him, to be excited beyond words to show people and exclaim to people what he has done for us.  That is why we are here--to give Him the glory in all things, and not only that, but to tell the world all about it.

In Him,



Melissa Hoffman Bodin:
March 28, 2014
You are such a tremendous blessing Sarah! Thank you, thank you for being there. <3 Be seeing you in a few days!!!!
Jon Buss:
March 28, 2014
God loves you and so do we!!!!!!
Christi Benson:
March 28, 2014
Sarah . . . love how you paint with words! #youtransportmethere Deo Gratias!
Jaynee Hodgkins:
April 3, 2014
Sarah! loved reading this and seeing you in the place where we were with you just a few days ago. Praying for these last moments to feel heavy with the glory of God. You are in a sacred place there with His children and it touches me that you recognize that. Ngwagala nnyo
April 12, 2014
Thanks for the update!
Jessica Kigongo:
April 25, 2014
Thank you Sarah, Mukama akuwe omukisa (God bless you). Nkwagala nnyo mukwano (I love you)
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