As I look back over this past summer my favorite moment came when a youth team from Emerywood BC in High Point held a VBS type camp for Roma kids in Pocsaj, Hungary. This village is the site of our first church plant way back in 1995. Over the years we have celebrated and grieved with many of the families in the small Roma church there. A single lady lost her 12 year old daughter to drowning and a couple gave birth to triplets. Vivien, one of those triplets, was born with near blindness and has remained so to this day. Yet she has developed a quick intellect and leads her class at the local school.
Ashley Church, youth leader of the team, took a special interest in this nine-year old blind girl. Vivien snuggled closely to Ashley during Bible story time and gripped her hand firmly throughout recreation activities. My favorite snapshot of the two of them shows Vivien’s face lit up with pure joy as she and Ashley circled the group in “Duck, duck, goose!” She stumbled a bit and flailed around some but her inability to see could not diminish her great joy in participating in the game. Both Ashley and Vivien said tearful goodbyes at the end of the week but both will hold dear those treasured moments from the summer for a long time to come. It was another clear example that the love of God transcends race and culture and language and physical disabilities. Vivien felt that love of God even as many others of us got to see it!