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It was such an exciting day for four-year-old Cles. It started in their simple tribal house that has no furniture, running water or power. And it ended lying on a bed in the city.

That morning, she and her mum had walked 3km along the muddy trail to where they met me. We set off to the city, about 4 hours away, where her mum was to have a medical procedure.

It was 7 pm by the time we finished at the doctor’s and arrived where we were to stay for the night. Cles’s mum, tired out, went straight to sleep. Cles wasn’t tired yet, so we looked at books together until she started yawning. Then I picked her up, put her on the bed next to her mum and lay down on a trundle bed beside her. Cles reached her hand over the edge of the bed to hold mine. She didn’t let go until she was asleep.

Twenty-nine years ago we ‘let go’ of our parents’ hands to become missionaries, and not long ago we also ‘let go’ of our children’s hands to continue missionary work while they settled down in New Zealand. But if we hadn’t done that, we would never have met this little tribal girl who trusts me enough to want to hold my hand while she drops off to sleep, and that little tribal girl may never have understood about our Father in heaven who never lets go.

Matthew 19:29

Graeme & Rachel

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