My Favorite Beauty Pageant

Katherine looked beautiful.

She was wearing a full-length gown. It was bright red, and she even had a hat to go with it. She was wearing a sash to make her look like Miss America—or should I say Miss Kenya. They had built a little runway for her to walk down (kind of like a beauty pageant). Actually, they brushed the dirt a little bit, but it was effective.

Katherine was the last one. Other boys and girls from our school in Eldoret preceded her down the runway. But she had the privilege of being the finale. And at the end of her walk, Katherine came up to me and escorted me. She gave me a present—a piece of wood with Romans 8:28 written on it. We stood in front of the entire crowd at the assembly. We had our picture made, and then she asked me to dance. It was a big deal.

I thought about what this meant to Katherine, especially when it comes to self-esteem. A few years ago, she had been living in the slums with dirty clothes, very little food, and no possibility of an education. Now she was a glamour queen walking down the aisle with someone she admired. Her clothes were beautiful. She was well fed. And she was excelling in her education. She felt like she was worth a million dollars.

When the event concluded, Katherine came up to me and thanked me over and over again for walking with her. She told me how thankful she was for her opportunities. Then she asked me if I knew Randy and Lisa Darnell. I told them that I knew them, and they lived in the same town I was from. She told me to send them greetings and to tell them how much she loved them. Then she started crying. She just could not stop crying when she thought of them. They were her sponsors. She said she could not have had any of these good things without them. She could not stop crying. I wish more sponsors knew how they not only provide food, education, and housing—but they also give self-esteem to the children who need it the most.

Indeed, Katherine was beautiful. It was more than the clothes. Her beauty went down to the heart. She chose the verse wisely that she gave to me. It was the story of her life. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.”

About Milt

Milton Jones is the President of Christian Relief Fund in Amarillo, Texas. In his work there, he has focused on the care of AIDS orphans in Sub-Sahara Africa. He has also served as a preacher and campus minister in both Texas and Washington. Milton has authored eight books including a touching tale of one of his heroes with Cerebral Palsy, Sundays With Scottie. He is married to Barbie Jones and has two sons, Patrick and Jeremy.
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