As my team and I drove up the bumpy dirt road and arrived at the school gate, my heart was pounding. I was so excited, but also a little nervous because I had no idea what to expect. I had heard about Neema from others, but knew I wouldn’t fully understand it until I could physically experience it for myself. As our vehicle approached our destination, the singing and celebrations of the Neema girls grew louder.
When the gate finally opened, the girls came flooding in to greet us with warm hugs and bright smiles. They wrapped skirts around each one of our waists and began dancing with us. The energy was insane! Everyone was beyond joyful that we had finally arrived. I was overwhelmed by their immediate love and acceptance for us. Although we had never met before, I instantly felt like one of their sisters.
After the big celebration, we had morning devotions as one big group which lead into splitting off into small groups for more intimate discussions. Months before this trip, we decided as a team to focus particularly on Romans 15:1-7, which is the passage we studied that day at morning devotions. As we went through this passage verse by verse in our small groups, the last few verses stood out to me in particular,
“May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” - Romans 15:5-7
Just a couple hours before small groups, the Neema girls set such a beautiful example of how God calls us to welcome one another in these verses. Our welcome at Neema is just a glimpse of how Christ invites us into His family and into a relationship with Him. I can only imagine the celebration in Heaven when we arrive. We will sing, rejoice, praise, and worship our Lord together in complete harmony with one voice, all for the glory of God.
~ Danielle, Neema Team 2018