I’m out for a stroll. I do this often, in the cool of the day, but before it gets dark. I pass this little cafe, which is basically a hole in the wall, and I notice these two little boys standing off to the side of the cafe entrance. They’re pretty dirty, like unbelievably dirty and they have no shoes on. Most everyone wears shoes, but they were pretty dirty and barefoot so immediately I thought street kids. Maybe they are 5 and 9, but I have no way of knowing.
The Lord just dropped it in my heart, buy them dinner. My natural reaction was, “really Lord?”, after all we can’t communicate, and Lord knows I don’t frequent hole in the wall cafes, but ok Lord. I’d walked passed them so had to double back. In my poor Amharic, which they may or may not have spoken, I asked if they wanted to eat. Walking into the cafe I got the waitresses attention, and told her we would like injera and wat for three. She looked at me then looked at them, then the entire restaurant turned around and looked at me then looked at them. I have known folks to treat street kids like untouchables, and I didn’t know if this fine establishment aka “hole in the wall” was going to decline service to them.
But no, God had this. I guess she spoke with the manager or someone, who smiled at me and the boys and asked if they wanted vegetables with their meal. Soon she brought out a large plate, one for them family style and one for me. I smiled, said “Grace” and dug in. They were a little tentative at first but no Ethiopian worth his salt is going to pass up a meal of injera and wat. We ate in silence except that there was a scary movie playing on the TV. I wondered should I distract them or something because I didn’t want the images to frighten them. Then I realized the images on the TV screen were probably incomprehensible to them. It was a story about a little boy afraid of something in his closet so he hid underneath his bed. These children sleep on the street or in a mud hut, they don’t know what a closet is, and the bedroom shown on the screen is something they have never seen and probably would have a hard time imagining. I guess I felt they couldn’t even understand what they were watching.
They ate and ate, then the waitress, realizing that I’d finished my meal, motioned for me to give the leftovers to the kids. She asked the older boy if he had ‘plastic”, a plastic bag, and he pulled one right out of his dirty pocket. She added my left overs to theirs, shoved it all in the bag, reminded him to say thank you, and we waved goodbye. The waitress tried to tell me the meal was on the house… But this was my blessing, so I paid the $2.50 for the three meals and walked home.
I trust God to grow and water the tiny seed that may have been planted into the hearts of those precious boys tonite. I was just obedient. So often we get an “urging”, or “prompting”, or “idea” or “notion”. Though it doesn’t make sense at the time, God may be in it so do your part to be obedient. “True religion is to minister to the widows and orphans “