I can't really tell you what he looks like - because he looks so different from the moment I first saw him. My kids refer to him as The Boy In The Yellow Shirt at church. The photo here is not him - but - it is what I IMAGINE he might have looked like years ago before this harsh world wore away his innocence and outward beauty. I have no idea what his story is, but I bet it would make me cry.
He sat behind me at church last Sunday. It was our first time visiting Reach the Nations church here in the outer perimeter of Atlanta. (What a diverse place this is.)
This young man in sandals, a yellow shirt and capri pants - with "Hell Rider" printed on the leg of his pants above a rather sinister character - was also visiting for the first time. He was introduced by another young Asian man he had probably just met - someone who thankfully speaks his language...or close enough. This friend told us he arrived in the USA a mere 27 days ago. The Boy In The Yellow Shirt was able to say "twenty-seven" in English.
This young man is quite small and resembles a shy animal at first. When a nervous smile managed to slip across his face, it revealed a life of hardship evidenced by a significant loss of teeth - especially for his age. But...what IS his age? Teens? Twenties, maybe? So hard to tell. (I NEED to learn his name.)
The "meet & greet" time blessed us with a chance to shake his hand, smile at him and try to make him feel sincerely welcome - maybe a bit more at ease? As the service progressed, I think he relaxed a bit as we sang worship songs in many languages. (I just cannot tell you if any were in HIS language!) Someone handed him a bible in a language he did appear to recognize just as the sermon started.
The Ethiopian pastor that morning was gracious (to us!) - he preached in English. What struck me, though, were the moans and groans from The Boy In The Yellow Shirt behind me. I could tell he was stretching and yawning - but, most touching of all was to hear him reading bible verses in his language - *mostly* under his breath. I moved enough in my seat to steal glances behind me. He was bent over with his face literally BURIED in that bible.
After the service, there was a fellowship time with snacks. At least one of my children held back a giggle as The Boy In The Yellow Shirt excitedly ate his chips and cookies...with a spoon! BUT, best of all? This church is small enough that The Boy In The Yellow Shirt...DID * NOT * GO * UNNOTICED! He was warmly greeted and welcomed - despite the language barrier.
As our family of six headed toward the door to leave, he was nearby. We were EACH able to shake his hand and say a lil something nice that he surely did NOT understand. As is always the case with boys. we lingered a bit on the front lawn (there was a ball in the crowd - enough said!) and then, as we finally pulled away, The Boy In The Yellow Shirt was outside jumping and waving to us with a giant grin shouting, "BYE!"
Don't let the people around you go unnoticed.
Lori (847) 650-7144
Pete (847) 650-8022
Our Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are an ordinary family simply trying to follow where He leads. We want YOU to see the amazing things HE is doing...