There is no surprise more magical than the surprise of being loved; it is God’s finger on man’s shoulder. Charles Morgan, The Fountain (1932)

And THAT is what today is all about at Kigazi nursery.

There is no surprise more magical than the UTTER surprise of being loved. I remember vividly walking into a bar where the girl I was seeing was waiting for me – but expecting me to be at least another hour or so. When she saw me so unexpectedly her face lit up (a welcome change from the nausea I usually provoke!) and she couldn’t hide her total delight and affection. I don’t think I will ever forget that because it was such a surprise to me that someone could feel that way for me. Imagine my surprise when I found out that, despite all my faults, God loves me about a billion times as much. And when I am tempted to go astray it is God’s finger of love, not judgement, on my shoulder that keeps me on the very narrow path.

Today is the end of the school year in Uganda and at our nursery in Kigazi. I am gutted that I’m not flying back till Wednesday but I promise to share all the photos and videos with you next week. Arkalene tells me that the children have been working themselves into a frenzy of excitement at the thought of the party that she has arranged and the prospect of performing their songs for parents at the end-of-year concert. Today is also therefore the last day for ‘Top Class’ who will be moving to the newly opened (when I get back) J10:10 boarding house so that they can get a decent education in a town school – and so that we can help God to develop them as human beings within a loving, caring, Jesus-centred environment.

Today the teachers at our nursery and Arkalene who manages it will tell these beautiful, precious children how well they’ve done over the course of the year and how much they are loved and appreciated by us. When I get back to Kigazi next Saturday I’ll make a point of telling them the same. I’ll be taking back letters and gifts from Bentfield School in Essex that will further reinforce the message that they are immeasurably precious to us and to our God. Jesus loved kids. In fact he said that until we welcome God and his Kingdom just like these kids do we won’t inherit all that he has for us.

In Kigazi and across Africa women and children are very much second-class citizens. Not in Kigazi nursery and not in God’s eyes. The three hour time difference as I write this means that the party is underway in Kigazi. And there’s a party in heaven as God and all his angels rejoice at children realising how very loved they are. Alle-bloody-luia.