04 Jan Every Child, Every Name: Lahash Global Day of Prayer
How do you get beautiful, individual photos of 175 different children?
When the Media Team traveled to Grace & Healing Ministry in October, it was our job to figure that out. It helped a great deal that the children listened and followed instructions extremely well. It also helped that we had three photographers on the team. I was not one of them, but I still had a job to do.
I had the printed list of every child’s name, and they had to come to me before getting their photo taken. They had to tell me their name so I could find it on the list and say it back to them to verify. I then wrote their name on a slip of paper and handed it to them as they proceeded to the photographer.
I admit I may be slightly biased, but my job was the best. I got to look into every pair of eyes. I got to listen to each voice and repeat each unique name. Some spoke out with confidence. Some could barely squeak out a whisper, feeling quite shy in the presence of an unfamiliar American lady. Some flashed big grins as I fumbled for the correct pronunciation. Some remained stoic, very determined to correctly complete such an important task.
As this parade of beauty passed before me, I was struck by the profound honor of acknowledging the children one by one. My only regret was that I couldn’t possibly remember them all.
You are unique. You are important. You are known. We are happy you are here today. You are loved.
These are the messages the children continually receive at Grace & Healing Ministry. The staff and volunteers there brilliantly reflect the boundless love of a God who beams with joy at the sight of his children. As a visitor, I couldn’t possibly get to know each child. But those who serve there faithfully don’t need to find names on a printed list because they hold each one in their hearts.
Our names are a symbol of our one-of-a-kind-ness. They set us apart as distinct individuals. They are a starting point for others to learn who we are and to remember us. For these reasons, on January 8, the Lahash staff in Portland will spend some time saying the names of each child in the Sponsorship Program aloud to God. Every child. Every name. Each precious life will be lifted in prayer to its loving Creator.
In October, I was keenly aware of my limitations in pronouncing the names, much less remembering the precious face that matched each one. How wonderful to trust that the God who created them knows every detail of their lives and is limitless in love and compassion toward them. And how privileged we are, even in the briefest of moments, to express that love to them, one by one.
by Jen Johnson, Writer/Editor at Lahash
We have set aside Monday, January 8th to pray over many different aspects of Lahash’s ministry, and to dedicate another year to God. You are welcome to join us! There is a time of corporate prayer at the office that evening from 7:00-8:00 for those in the Portland area. For anyone who can’t attend in person, we will gladly send you a printed Prayer Guide (or you can download a PDF here) to use not only on January 8, but throughout the year. Please contact us via email or phone for more details, or simply to let us know that you are praying along with us from wherever you are.