You can hear it, can’t you? It’s unmistakable. It permeates the hardest of hearts, the worst of days, and lingers deep within the soul long after it’s gone. A child’s laugh carries with it a purity and innocence that is untainted by the cares of this world. The most simple jokes, a slight “Boo!”, even the box in which the new Christmas toy came is a sense of pure joy (never mind the hundreds of dollars and hours you spent waiting in line for that Elsa doll!). Now, take a moment to release yourself from credit card debt, work responsibilities, your mortgage, and your relationship woes. Think about the excitement on that little face as they jump around the playground. Try to imagine yourself as a child again, gazing out at everything from your glistening little eyes. Can you feel it? Complete trust, excited optimism, and pure love. A laugh, a smile, a twinkle in the eye, they all are the culmination of these emotions. That is worth protecting, isn’t it? I think so, and so does any person who is an advocate for the orphans of this world. I recently became one of those people on a trip to Zimbabwe, and I will never be the same again. I boarded a plane with a group called Help One Now and quickly realized this was a different sort of people. It wasn’t long after we landed in Africa that I heard that beautiful sound…laughter. The Help One Now team wasted no time crawling in the dirt playing games with the kids at a children’s home in Marondera called, Musha Wevana. Help One Now’s local leader, Pastor John Chinyowa, introduced everyone and showed us around the grounds. The open air classroom was at one end, the dorms at the other – the kitchen and the office to the side and the garden out back – but in the very center of it all: the playground!
You see, in the very simplest of ways we show our priorities. The things that are most important to us stand at the center of our lives, it is the nucleus of everything else swirling around in our world. Pastor John placed the playground in the middle, why? You could say it was based on logistics and open space at the time, but I would like to think it is because his subconscious was drawing him to the purity of that laugh and the elation within a child coming to fruition for all to hear. Without laughter, joy, and love, Musha Wevana is just bricks and metal. While the classroom is essential for development, and food and shelter are necessary for survival, it is the smile on those faces that makes life worth it all. That is what Pastor John is protecting, that is what our team became a part of that day, and that is why donations and child sponsorships are needed. Close your eyes and imagine once more, hear that laughter in your heart, and maybe you just might be willing to Help One Now.
SPONSOR A CHILD today at Musha Wevana children’s home in Marondera, Zimbabwe.
– Jacob Combs @jacobtcombs Photo credit: Scott Wade