By Mandi Burgess
It’s amazing what we can learn from children, if we take the time to slow down and watch and listen.
They can teach us amazingly simple things and can show us ways that we have forgotten in adulthood. They can also replicate great acts of Jesus in such a simple manner, reminding us that all He wants is for us to be more like Him, to love, and to be loved.
I went on a mission trip to Guatemala a few years ago and there was one incident that seemed so small at the start, but it turned into the event that had the greatest effect on me while I was there.
During the trip, I worked at a school. We mainly helped the teachers as needed, and we even got to teach a few English lessons. It was such a blessing to be with all of those children and adults, helping to serve and educate.
The school was a special school; special in the way that the children who attend are children who can’t afford to go to the public schools. Some of the children walk an hour just to attend. The school is only held for half the day because, at the end of the day, these students are needed to work in the fields.
These awesome children are so excited to be at school, both to be with friends and to learn.
Sadly these children are also very hungry.
For a number of them, the only food they have is the porridge they drink during snack time. The porridge is something similar to a vanilla milk-based drink with a substance akin to oatmeal to thicken it up.
To watch them drink the concoction, you would think they were eating steak. They sip and savor every drop. Through all of this, these are some of the happiest children I have ever been around.
A few children, if their families can afford it that week, will also bring an extra snack—like a cracker—to eat. While we were there, one child was that lucky; he had a cracker in his bag to eat.
As I was sitting with him and his friends—having fun with taking photos, passing around my sunglasses, and sharing laughs—this boy did something that opened my eyes in such a way that it was as if Jesus was standing there doing the same.
This young boy, who I knew was so very hungry, shared his cracker.
He not only broke off some for me, but also for his friends, who then in turn broke and shared their pieces.
By the time all was said and done, every single child in this classroom had a little bit of a cracker to enjoy. A cracker that started out smaller than the size of a graham cracker.
It truly felt like a modern day moment of Jesus breaking bread and passing out fish for the multitude.
Yes, my little friends were probably still hungry, but our hearts were full, and we all felt appreciated and loved by that small gesture. Just like that little boy who gave five loaves and two fish to feed 5,000, my friend gave what he had and had faith enough to know that, although it wasn’t much, it was enough.
Jesus was working a miracle when He fed the masses and when he fed me with that cracker. The children may not have seen it that way…but I sure did.