"The team and I were about at week into our trip when we all piled in the matatu (much like a van) and headed to the school. I was nervous, anxious, and excited all at the same time. I knew that I was going to meet Celestine, the young woman that I sponsor through Simba. As we approached the school the feeling of the Holy Spirit overwhelmed me. I knew that my life was going to be altered forever. The team and I were dropped off about 100 feet from the entrance of the school. As I jumped out of the matatu, I began to hear the children welcoming us with the most beautiful song my ear had ever listened to.
Tears flooded my eyes I heard these children of God singing us a welcome song much like I imagine the angels will be when we enter heaven. As I got closer to the entrance of the school, over 200 students were lined up to greet our team. Children young and old shook my hand with honor and respect. What a welcome!
As the team and I finished shaking the children’s hands we were escorted to the office to sign their guest book. I was the first to sign the book because I wanted to get back outside to be with the children, but more importantly, to find Celestine. As I looked at the out over the 200 children, I couldn’t find seem to find her. Chase, the founder of Simba, comes over to me and says, “have you found Celestine?”, and I replied no. Chase began to yell for Celestine, and suddenly I see her step up from amongst the crowd to look back at Chase.
This moment will be one I never forget, one where emotions completely flooded my soul. This young woman that I have seen only in pictures, but have been fiercely praying for, was now standing before me. She was more beautiful then I could have ever imagined. Her smile was brighter then the sun. I started to weep, like a mother meeting her child for the first time. This was a holy moment that only God could have orchestrated. She reached out her hand and we interlocked fingers. How could I love someone so much? We embraced each other with a tight squeeze, reminding me of what it is like every time I come running to God. He grabs us in His arms and wildly embraces us.
Why did I get the opportunity to meet the child I sponsor? The moment I laid eyes on Celestine’s sweet smile, I knew God was calling me to sponsor her beautiful heart. I listened when God called me to go to Kenya in January. Simple obedience changes history, and that moment was the start of mine."
- Michelle Arends