What children can teach us
Written by Eriko
Each week my OM Chile teammates and I go to a children’s orphanage to do activities with the kids. One week they were supposed to draw about their virtues, but because of communication problems we did not bring the colour pens, scissors or glue. All we had was coloured paper so we had to improvise a bit.
We decided to do origami, but nobody in the team actually knew how to do origami. We were all looking at our phones, searching the internet how to construct something out of paper. Honestly, I was quite frustrated because I did not really understand how to do it and the kids were so excited, waiting for me to teach them.
One boy, Nathan*, was attempting to make his origami when he suddenly stopped and told me, “No, I don’t want to do it anymore! I just cannot make it!” Seeing his frustration, I told him, “You can do it! Let’s do it together!” I started to work with him step-by-step, though in my heart I was nervous because I had no idea what to do with my paper (I was supposed to be making a heart with wings, but I could not figure it out).
I just kept calm, continued and then said, “So that’s it! You’ve made it!” Nathan looked a little confused, but then he burst out laughing and said to the other kids, “Hey, look! I made it!” He kept on showing around the heart that I taught how to make.
Recently we started to add a new session in our activities at the children’s home – dividing into small groups and praying with the children. One week we talked about the story of Joseph and how he forgives his brothers who sold him and the next week we asked the kids in the small group, “So did you like the story of Joseph?” and “Do you have someone that you need to forgive?” One boy, Benjamin*, quickly responded, “Yes! I have forgiven my brother!” While he was talking, he was so happy and relieved. I am sure that God must be so pleased with him.
Then we asked them if they had any prayer requests. We asked another boy what we could pray about with him. While he was thinking, Benjamin said, “How about your sister?” The boy was a little confused, asking, “My sister?” And Benjamin said, “Yes, we can pray for your sister!”
Be it that they can see the beauty in an oddly shaped origami-heart or that they listen to the teaching and put it into practice immediately – children can teach us so much! We adults, why do we overcomplicate our lives? I now understand why Jesus loved children so much – they see things simply and their faith can be so much firmer than ours.