One afternoon I was asked to preach in a trading center in the bush country of Malawi, Africa. My chariot arrived in the form of a two wheeled, no frill bike. I jumped on and began peddling wanting to show my prowess to my younger Malawian friends by staying ahead of them. It was difficult as the seat was not attached so well and kept wobbling back and forth as my legs pumped the peddles. Up ahead I could see the road was stretching high on the other side of a hill ahead. Figuring a little speed was called for in order to climb that hill, I pedaled as fast as I could. When I topped the hill, the long steep drop leading to a little rickety bridge started me putting on my brakes only to find I had no brakes. Bracing myself, I held on for dear life as the bike bumbled down the washed out riveted trail and prayed. As quick as it started I was heading up the steep incline on the other side. When I finally stopped, the laughing of my fellow travelers made me turn and look. The others were carefully walking their bikes down the hill.
We rode into the trading center where people were milling around and villagers had wares set up for display. Lester led me to a large tree where he and ministers joined in singing loudly. After a large crowd had gathered, Lester turned to me and nodded indicating it was my turn to preach. Many people came as I asked if anyone was interested in knowing the Jesus I had spoken about.
It was time for our 4 mile trip back to my tent and as we walked back to our transportation Lester was on one side of me and on the other side another pastor and a large crowd of children were pressing us. I heard these words, “Would you please come again?” I turned and faced the crowd of children and told Lester to find out who asked me a question. He spoke in the native tongue and there was no response.
“Ask again,” I instructed Lester. “Don, they were all talking,” he said.
I told him to please ask again and as of yet had not told anyone the question I had heard.
Finally a little girl who looked to be around 10 nodded that she had asked me a question. When asked what she wanted…she said, “Would you please come again?”
I then instructed Lester to see if the young girl spoke English. She neither spoke nor understood English. With tears running down my face I knelt down in front of her and held both of her little hands….and told her I would come again.
I have never seen that little girl since, but we pass by that tree and trading center every time we visit the orphanage that has been our blessing to help build; for it is just a short distance away from that spot. One day maybe we will hold hands again.