Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The President is my friend...

On Saturday 15th September we received an unexpected visit from the President of Paraguay, Federico Franco, in the small village of Quyquyhó. He came to inaugurate the recently restored altarpiece of the beautiful Franciscan church.

Osvaldo, the director of the children’s home, arrived where the ceremony was to take place and sat the girls in the last rows of seats at the back. They were all dressed smartly in their t-shirts from the home.

Waiting for the President

An official saw the well behaved and handsomely dressed children and asked Osvaldo who they were. When he explained they were from a children’s home she asked them to form a line at the entrance to be the welcoming party for the President! When the President arrived he made a point of greeting each child personally.

Welcoming the President

As he left the ceremony he allowed me to take his photo with the girls, seating the youngest, Andrea, on his knee. He did not have personal photos taken with anyone else. Afterwards I asked 3 year-old Andrea who the man in the photo was. She unhesitatingly replied, “He’s my friend!”

I was deeply moved by how God allowed these children, from such poor and humble backgrounds, to be given such privileged access to the President. They were even seated at the back so important dignitaries could be nearer the President. It reminded me of Jesus’ words, “For all those who exalt themselves will humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 18:14) And, “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” (Matthew 20:16) The values of God’s kingdom are completely the opposite to those of the world.