As I walked with my interpreter and another pastor back to our waiting chariots ( bicycles), they worked to keep the children from under foot. I heard someone say, “Would you please come again?” in perfect English.
I turned and faced the crowd of young people and said, “Who asked me a question?” Nobody responded so I asked my interpreter if he had heard the question.
His reply was, ” Don, they are all talking!”
Without letting him know what I heard I said, ” Please ask the children again who asked me a question.”
Again there was no reply. I asked Lester to please ask again. As he was asking once again my gaze fell upong a young girl who was intently staring at me. I said, “Lester ask that girl if she asked a question and admonish her not to be afraid.”
Lester asked and told me, “She wanted to know if you would come again.”
I had one more question, “Ask her if she knows how to speak English”
After asking Lester looked at me inquiringly and said, “She doesn’t know a word of English.”
With tears rolling down my face, I came to her and knelt down beside her. I took her hands in mine and promised her that I would be back. I had good intentions, but I never went back to that village.
A year later I was riding in a car with some Malawian friends on our way to see some land that was offered to us to build an orphanage. As we passed through a trading center, I spotted a large tree in the center of the village. I turned and stared at that tree.
“Lester,” I said, ” That place looks familiar.”
He laughed and told me, “It should! That is where you preached under that tree. The land that was given to us is right here!!”
I never saw that girl again, but maybe our paths will cross. Now you know what that string is. I had made a promise to that little girl that I would return. This week we met with about forty chiefs to discuss their plans to meet with me and talk over the ideas that God has planted in my heart for this place. I call it Redemption Village. As I shared the plans for a dorm that will house 32 orphans (64 if we do bunk beds) a chapel, kitchen, and an office They were very excited! When can we start? was what they all began saying.