She has a little shack and a brother near the church in Kampala. She possesses the clothes on her back and a smile that lights up the room. When she was asked to dance for the visiting missionaries, she put her heart and soul in it, knowing she was dancing for someone other than the Americans who came to see her. She never knew her earthly daddy, but she knew she made her Father smile when she grabbed the microphone, and through the static, said “Praise God, Church”.
Like my own daughter, we took her everywhere we went. She shopped with us, walked through the dirt streets of the neighborhoods with us, and took the 4 hour bus ride with us, on bumpy chaotic roads, to the village where the orphans waited.
Practically pushed to the ground by the eager hands pressing against us, we gave them candy, for the first time in their lives. The sea of faces became a blur as hands reached up to touch our hair, our faces, and grab what they could from our “goody bags”. When the bags were emptied before the last child was fed, Mourine saw.
I was unaware of what happened next, as my attention was drawn to the children playing with the soccer balls we brought from Zeb (a story for another day). In the chaos, our little Mourine had gone to the bus and retrieved a small bag of banana chips we had purchased for her earlier. She was carefully and methodically breaking the chips in half and giving them to the candy-less children surrounding her.
Later, when I saw the photo of Mourine handing the chips out, I wept. I wept because I saw Jesus. I saw Jesus in the single, kind act of a little girl with nothing, and nothing to lose. I wept for all of us to know what it means to be “poor in spirit”, to be like Christ. I wept for community; a community that sees it’s members as equal and equally worthy. I wept for America to understand what it really means to be privileged.
I will never forget you, Mourine. I will pray for you, always.