Several years ago, when we were living in South Korea, we took a trip to the Philippines for a short mission stint. The people we met there were wonderful people. Rich in love, poor in possessions. They radiated some of the best smiles I’ve ever seen even though some were toothless or near toothless. I think smile wrinkles are beautiful. Many of the people we came in contact with had deep, beautiful smile wrinkles. One of my favorite memories of all times is from that time.
One very hot day as we were visiting another poor town, we saw a tired man pushing an ice cream cart. The children playing in the streets stared longingly at him, but were obviously poor and had no money to buy any ice cream. He was working hard to try and sell our group of foreigners some of his delicious ice cream. Some in the group dug in their pockets and produced the coins needed to buy a cone and satisfy their craving. It was the perfect treat for a blistering hot day. Kai and I looked at each other and had the same idea hit us instantly.
We started talking with the ice cream man and asked how much it would cost to buy ice cream for all the children around. He looked at us in shock, took off his hat, and rubbed his sweaty head as he started calculating. He wasn’t sure if he even had enough ice cream in his cart. We handed over the bills and he started calling the children to him. Children poured in from everywhere! A long line of expectant, happy faces formed. We walked a distance and watched as kids of all ages eagerly took their ice cream and devoured it with joy while the man frantically and exuberantly scooped ice cream until his cart was empty. It was a simple act. It didn't even cost much. Yet I’ll never forget the gratitude we experienced from bringing a little happiness to an ice cream man and some Philippino children.