But meeting the people also shrunk this massive world into a familiarity that I found comfortable. "Meeting" the people in the villages entailed mostly non-verbal communication since none of us knew the language and only so much could be interpreted in a conversational way. Who better to be transparent with non-verbal communication than children? Their curious smiles and authenticity made for what I considered a good time of relational connecting.
The mischievousness I saw in their impish grins was the same expression I've seen on the faces of my girls at home. The cries of protest and arching of the back were the same familiar signs that my babies used to give when they decided to assert their will. I imagined the little girl with Angry Bird slippers squealed the same squeal of delight I hear when my girls see something in the store they really want or receive a special gift.
I could tell these little ones were precious to their mothers and fathers. Seeing them in relation to their families made the world a little smaller, because, after all, no matter where you live, family is familiar. And even more importantly, these little ones and their families on the other side of the world are precious to God.