Friday, September 30, 2011

The girls.... MY Girl!

I have left a smattering of heart pieces all over the city of Niamey, Niger, West Africa, that is no surprise as part of it was already there.   About a year ago I was asked if I would like to be a prayer partner for one of the girls attending the Niger Vocational Training School (NVOC for short) and I accepted.  I received an email containing a photo and a brief blurb about MY GIRL, her life in  etc.  So for the past year, I have prayed, for health, happiness despite hardship, that she would be a good student, that her family would have food to eat, and her parents would have work. I have prayed extra hard that she would follow through on her commitment to the school, and complete the 2 years, and NOT marry.  I have prayed that she would discover her worth as a young woman, and that she would not believe that the only worth she has as a young woman is when she marries and has babies as is the custom  in the area.

I prayed for this somber faced girl who looked so serious and almost sad, and when I met her she was none of the above.  Zeina is full of life, a little cheeky, laughs easily and later in the week poked fun at me.  She takes charge and works hard, sometimes getting in others way while doing so.  What a blessing to be able to meet her in person and to invest in her life up close and in person.  On our last day there she came into the classroom and gave me a little hug, this was HUGE, hugging is not something that is done in their culture, and for her to take the first step was way out of her comfort zone.  I love this girl, she has one of the fragments of my heart for sure, she had my heart even before I arrived there.  I continue to pray, now I pray that the time I spent with her would be something she values as well.

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