Small Creatures, part III

His name was Emmanuel.

We picked him on on the border town where we ate roasted lamb and drank countless cold sodas on the way to Pokot. Here was where the road ended. Or began, depending on which way you were going. We were all relieved to be back on paved road (although in Kenya, the term “paved” is always used loosely) and gulped down more cold drinks before piling back into the van for the three hour drive back to Nakuru.

He was sitting in the middle of the front bench when I got back to our van. He exhibited the high level of adorableness common to Kenyan children, chubby, big round eyes and tiny sweatpants the were too big, showing the top of his bottom whenever he was picked up. He must’ve climbed in while the door was open. “We’re taking him with us!”, somebody joked. Except it wasn’t a joke, he was an HIV orphan, his grandmother had contacted ROHI recently asking for help, she couldn’t take care of him anymore. He would ride back to Nakuru with us and Dave would drop him off at a rescue center once we got there.

He sat between Kim Shields and me. Kim was proficient in Kiswahili and would speak to him every once in awhile. His face was dirty, he had a candy sucker from who knows where. Along the way we stopped and slowly passed a pair of large turtles crossing the road. Every once in awhile, especially as we neared Nakuru and farms were more common, he would cry out excitedly, and Kim would translate.

“Wow so fast!” (at passing cars)
“CORN (‘maize’)! So much!”
“So big!” (at buildings)
“Corn!” (at corn)

Emmanuel fell asleep, the sucker and its paper stick just hanging in his mouth. I busied myself trying to shoo a pesky fly that kept landing on his face (probably the sugar) and offering him water whenever he woke up. His eyes widened as we entered Nakuru. He’d grown up in Pokot, where the buildings were small shacks and neighbors were few and far between, it is hard to imagine that kind of culture shock. As he sipped from the water bottle, I couldn’t help but think about Jesus saying, ‘whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.’

And then there’s, ‘Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

Emmanuel indeed.


~ by justinhong on November 29, 2010.

One Response to “Small Creatures, part III”

  1. […] honest, August 25 12) Small Creatures, part I; Interlude: Soft Shoulder; Small Creatures, part II; Small Creatures, part III, September 24 & November 29 13) Lust, Prayer & Pain, December […]

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