We weren't there long before we met Katie, and she informed us that she had not had power for the last two days...this is Africa:) She quickly found Sumer this really cool flashlight and we started unpacking the shoes.
We had some happy helpers along the way.
We had a footwashing station.
We had a shoe sizing station.
And we had a shoe fitting station.
I was a shoe fitter for a good part of the day, and I loved every minute of it. It was nothing but pure joy to put a brand new pair of shoes on a child that walked in the door barefoot. I sometimes had trouble getting these hard stiff shoes on their barefeet and often wondered why they had such trouble getting these shoes on their feet. I desperately needed a shoehorn;) I would say wiggle a little bit or push a little bit or stand up and maybe it will go on then. (Of course, they couldn't understand a word I was saying so I did the old tried and true method of JUST TALKING LOUDER.) Katie was sitting next to the chair and said these words, "I could just cry over these kids getting these shoes because most of them have never had shoes before."
And then it hit me...
They didn't really know how to "try" on shoes because they had never had shoes. They didn't know how to do the wiggle, push & run down the aisle and make sure they fit right routine. When you finally found a good fit and they were all done, some would thank me and some would just look at me like why is this crazy white woman yelling, "I need a size 8, can you get me a size 8 in black, this size won't work." And then there was the little girl that popped out of her chair, wrapped her arms around my neck and said these words with the most thankful and joyful heart...
Thank you, Auntie!
And I started the ugly cry because of her thankful heart. She was thankful for her ugly black shoes that looked like boy shoes that she needed to have for school. And I will thank my God everytime I remember her...Phillipians 1:3.