Human Touch

Look at this precious hand resting on mine!


Ema, who came to Neema two weeks ago, was called a “walker” because he would go door to door asking for food. He still eats as if it will be his last meal. It’s very sad and it’s a different mindset from the other kids at Neema who know they will eat again in four hours.

The first time I saw him, I looked at another missionary here at Neema and said, “Who is that child? He’s like a Tasmanian devil.” Poor kid has no idea what the heck is going on and only speaks Swahili. But only two short days later when I had him in Bible class, he started to win my heart.



He has the cutest little voice you could ever imagine hearing. And, he’s a talker so naturally he’s a child after my own heart! He also helps me count in Swahili because I always mix up five and nine.

Ema was my little church buddy this week. He is very loving and is all about touch. He kept his hand on my arm the whole church service and when he wasn’t on my lap, but was sitting next to me, he had his hand on my leg and head resting on my arm. The church we were at today served tea after the service and it made my heart smile sharing my tea with him. After every drink he would look at me with his big eyes and beyond cute smile and say “tena” which means “again.” It was pretty dang cute.

It is very hard to communicate with a small child who doesn’t understand your language. I spent a great deal of the day chasing him down and trying to ask him if he needed to use the bathroom. I kissed him on the cheek because that’s universal and I got the sweetest kisses back. We also laughed at ourselves as we counted to 20 over and over and over.


Ema wanting to always hold hands or be on my lap reminded me of the importance of human touch. It breaks my heart to think that we have 42 kids who don’t have parents to give them the needed love and attention for proper brain development. It also warms my heart knowing that this is where God has me right now, helping these kids feel cared for and loved.