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Popsicle Seeds

Who knows what God will grow?

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April arrived and along with it came the heat. By that I mean temperatures of more than 110 degrees in the shade. Each day as I traveled to and from school, I would see many people trying to find ways to escape the heat. Some would find shade under a tree and then lay down a piece of fabric or a straw mat to rest upon.

When we were in the United States, finding relief from the heat was not hard to do. People could escape the heat in homes, grocery stores or restaurants. Here in Burkina Faso, West Africa, that is not the case. Many people don’t have electricity to run a fan or running water to take a cold shower. Many live in small cinder-block homes that are usually very warm. Watching people suffer day after day was hard for me.

Why Am I Here?

I sometimes think about the life I left behind in the United States. I attended a good Christian school and had friends that I had known for a long time. I also had family that didn’t live too far away from my home.

That part of my life disappeared when my family became missionaries and moved to Burkina Faso. I knew that God had called us to be here, and I could see my mom, dad and sister begin to fit right in. But I just couldn’t figure out what it was that God was expecting from me.

Then one day, as we were coming home from school, I felt that God had laid a task on my shoulders: I was to find a way to help the people get relief from the heat.

Kool Running

Evangelism is not one of my strengths, and the language is somewhat of a barrier to me. I am learning French, but I do not yet have the vocabulary I need to talk about Jesus with the people. Then God reminded me of a lesson I learned from one of my pastors back home. He taught me how to show God’s love to people in practical ways. I may not yet be able to share about Jesus, but I can make a Popsicle®! And what I can say in French is, “It sure is hot today!” or “Would you like a Popsicle®?”

My family worked with me to make the first batch. My sister, Abby, and I picked out the flavors, my mother collected water from the filter and then my dad and I mixed the Kool Aid® and poured it into plastic sachets. Finally, my mother and sister knotted the Popsicle® bags, and we placed them in the freezer for a few days.

Next we decided what day to go out, and then we headed to the canal next to our home. We have been doing this regularly throughout the hot season. Each time, it takes no longer than ten minutes for the Popsicles® to be handed out. The first time we did this, I just couldn’t believe that they disappeared so fast! I thought that the kids would really like to have one, but I didn’t expect to see grown women chasing our vehicle for a Popsicle®! It was funny to see them running after us. The people are always happy to see me, and that makes me feel good. I like helping in this simple way.

Spreading the Word

I shared this ministry with people in the United States, and also I wrote an article for the G.C. Kidz Club. Since then, people have been writing, and kids groups have been collecting Kool Aid® to send to me so I can keep this ministry going. It is amazing to see how many people are interested in helping the people in Burkina Faso!

I keep asking myself, Will this Popsicle® ministry bring people to Christ? One day my mother and I read, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow” (1 Cor. 3:6). Then I realized I am doing the planting and watering, and God will make His Kingdom grow. My parents explained to me that coming to Christ is a process. I just need to do my part and let God do His. My job is to just keep making Popsicles® and talking to the people and then watch and see what God is going to do in their lives!

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