Learning How to Say Goodbye

Im back in the USA with A/C, warm water, and a comfy hotel bed, and all I can think about is that I learned so much from an 11 year old on this trip. I got the opportunity to go to slum ministry for one day. It was basically like an hour of loving on and teaching kids from a poor part of town. I thought I would be more excited since kids are my cup of tea, but I was confused. “What good am I going to do in these kids lives for the 60 minutes I have with them?” and other negative thoughts streamed my mind while riding a bus to the slum.

I was thankful to go, but almost second guessed what good I would be doing in that one hour, and just then, Luciana came up to me and hugged me. She’s a beautiful, tall, thin, 11 year old girl, with a smile from ear to ear. I’ve never met her before, I knew I’d never see her again, and the whole time, she taught me so much. She showed me love, even though I didn’t speak her language, she communicated with me even though I didn’t speak hers, she laughed with me, smiled with me, played with me, etc. Something about that beautiful young girl really made me sad. I kept thinking in my head that I would never see this precious friend again. Ever. At that moment the 60 minutes had flown by and it was time to say goodbye. I HATE GOODBYES. How do I hug precious Luciana one last time knowing that I’ll never see her, hug her, or love on her again?

I think she could see sadness in my eyes, because when I hugged her, she smiled her beautiful smile and randomly said “I’ll see you again”. When she said that, she saw my confusion, and continued by saying “I am Christian too. Even if I don’t see you again in Nepal, I’ll see you in heaven.”

Sweet Luciana taught me so much in that moment. She taught me that love has no language barriers, that 60 minutes is enough time to make an impact, and to trust my Heavenly Father and to have faith that I will in fact get to hug that precious girl again someday. If we all have the mindset of a child, saying goodbye doesn’t have to be hard. She walked me down the muddy alley and wouldn’t let go, but something about our last hug, and her waving goodbye as I walked away, had a peace about it. I went to slum ministry to teach, but I learned so much from her. Thank you Lord for using an 11 year old to open up my eyes and mind

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