While I was in South Africa, I met the most amazing, beautiful, spunky, funny, talented girl named Shekinah. You’ve never been hugged correctly until you’ve been hugged by Shekinah. She will seriously squeeze the breath right out of you. Shekinah followed Meg wherever she went. She claimed to have the same voice as Meg, and someday, she was sure that they would both become famous in America. Shekinah had a grasp on life that i’ve never even encountered before. When she smiled, I think the sun shined a little brighter. When she sang, I’m pretty sure every angel joined in with her. And when she hugged you, it felt as if the God of the universe was hugging you. Meg even mentioned that the first time she ever met Shekinah, Shekinah hugged her so tightly and said “I love you very much, Megan!” Meg said that she felt God was speaking to her through Shekinah.
Later in the week, we had the chance to go to Jehovah Jireh to help fix up the orphanage where Shekinah lived. While we were there, her adopted mom (she and her husband started and run the orphanage) told us Shekinah’s story. Shekinah was a dumpster baby. A trashman was doing his daily rounds, and while picking up the trash behind the local stores, he saw something moving. He thought it was a cat because the movement was so small, but when he dug around, he found Shekinah. She was so small that she could wear doll clothes. For the first month of her life, she was hospitalized because of how sick she was. She cried so much in the first months of her life that she hasn’t cried since. Because of Aparteid (learn more about it here), it was unheard of for a white family to adopt a black baby. But that’s exactly what Molly and Neils Bam did. Up until that point, they had just run a small orphanage of white children, but after meeting this tiny black baby, they decided to adopt her. They named her Shekinah Glory, which means “In the deepest presence of God.” Her name couldn’t be more fitting, because we truly did feel as if we could touch God tangibly through Shekinah.
On the day we left, Shekinah ran up to Meg and said “Auntie Megan, do you know what today is??” (It is formal to use Aunt or Uncle). Meg picked her up and said “whats today?” Shekinah, in her most enthusiastic voice, belted out “Todaaaaayyy is the end of the worrrrld.” “Why is that?” Meg asked. “Because today, you are leaving.” Wow. She nailed that one on the head. We all felt our hearts being torn out when we had to leave those kids. But more than anyone, my heart ached to leave Shekinah. So much talent, so much intelligence, so much energy, so much beauty, so much of God’s image in a child.
I wish you could meet Shekinah. I wish you could hear her accent and see her smile and watch her nod her head as she said “Yeeesssss” after answering a question. I wish you could see her sass and her boldness and courage. I wish you could hear her sing and I wish, most of all, that you could feel God’s presence when you were around her. I want to share a few videos of her with you….so that maybe, just maybe…you could get a glimpse of this girl. I fell in love with her, which i never expected to do. Watch this and find out why…
Today Shekinah is in the hospital. I woke up this morning and read a few blogs, and I read the blog of Kristi Fair. She used to go to Westside, and now her and her husband, Daniel, live in South Africa as missionaries. This is what I read:
One of our kids in the CSP has become sick and is going to the hospital today (Tuesday). If you could please pray for her and for Molly, her mom. They were in the clinic last night and determined they needed to go to the real hospital today. She has a virus that is attacking her joints (trouble walking) and also detected a heart murmur. Her name is Shekinah. Thanks guys.
I can’t really tell you what this does to my heart. I’m sitting here feeling so helpless. So broken. Maybe even a little mad…how could someone that I actually fell in love with be sick?? It’s really not something i’ve had to deal with before. And what makes me even more mad is talking to Kristi today and finding out that the doctors didn’t come to see her today…because its Africa and its just like that. So they’re hoping they can be seen tomorrow and find out what happens next.
Can I ask you to pray for her? I feel so incredibly helpless here. Our whole team does. Seriously, Shekinah was a shining star in the crowd of orphans we met. Like I’ve said many times already, we saw God in Shekinah. We felt loved by Shekinah. And we fell in love with her as well. I dont love very easily, but somehow, she made her way into my heart. And so I’m sitting here and wish there was SOMETHING i could do. I wish i could get on a plane and just be in the hospital with her and sit with her and sing songs together. I wish i could help her through the pain she probably feels. But i can’t do any of that. All i can do is pray. Thats all that any of us can do. So will you join me?
Please pray for Shekinah Glory.