Thursday, January 17, 2013

Orphanage Trip

Monday night at about 5:30 p.m. I found out that I would be going on a last minute orphanage trip leaving the next morning at 6:30 a.m. 

We were going on this trip for several reasons. One is the fact that due to three recent adoptions, we have three empty beds. And here the need is so great that we should not have empty beds for very long. Therefore, we wanted to visit four of our partner orphanages and see if there were specific children the Lord was calling us to bring to the Foster Home

We were also recently approved for a grant from an organization in Hong Kong and the criteria for the grant is for it to be used to help improve a government run orphanage in China. Therefore, the second reason for our trip was to come up with ideas for this grant to present these ideas to this organization. 

How to describe this visit. The first thought that comes to mind is that compared to my visit to these same orphanages in June (you can read about that visit and my thoughts here), it wasn't 

"quite as shocking." 

But even when I write those words, it disturbs my heart. Why is it that children living in these conditions and situations not be "shocking" anymore? Have I gotten used to seeing children this way that it doesn't affect me as much? Children lying cribs, never going outside, banging their heads on their cribs or rocking back and forth because they have no toys, lying in their own filth, with sorrow filled eyes.... THIS, my friends, is NOT normal. This is not okay. So why was this trip so much different than my trip last summer and I wasn't quite as "shocked?" Maybe it's because I knew what to expect this time. I knew what these orphanages were like and sadly they haven't changed much since I was there 7 months earlier. 

I went into this trip with a different vision. I saw these orphanages and the staff with new eyes. They are doing the best they can. God has clearly been speaking these words to my heart over and over again since I arrived in China 10 months ago. 

"You can't save them all but you can love the ones I have placed in your path."

And that is so true. If you go into an orphanage with the mindset that you can save them all, you will drive yourself crazy and leave disappointed and hopeless. But you can love the ones God has placed in your path. 

My goal this trip was to make these children smile. I knew we were going to see several hundred children and beds for three. But I could make a child smile and pray over them.

And that is just what I did. My goal was to give these children a reason to smile and let me tell you, I was able to see some precious smiles. And you know what else I saw in their eyes?


Just through the simple act of them smiling, I could see the lifelessness leave their eyes and a glint of hope appear. I have no idea what will happen to these children but I do know that God says, "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you" (John 14:18). How will God choose to do this? I have no idea, but I know that His Word is true. A passage I read yesterday morning found in Philippians 4:19 spoke to me:

"And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus."

I will be honest with you. When I read this passage yesterday, I couldn't help but feel angry. How can you tell me that God is meeting all the needs of these children? They are dirty, smelly, unloved. But the truth is, God will meet all of their needs. And they ARE loved. Loved by a Heavenly Father that I have to believe WILL meet all of their needs. I may not see how or when but God WILL meet their needs. 

And I also believe God is calling up believers. People to care for the orphaned. And I don't mean foreigners necessarily coming into a country to help, but the people of this country. As China becomes more and more developed, I believe we will not see as much foreign help. I believe God is calling the people of China to rise up and care for their orphans. 

Will you stand with me and pray for this? Pray that God will awaken a passion for the people of this country to care for their children?

1 comment:

  1. You "get" it. I will never forget a certain conversation with Carrie standing next to the playroom at the northern location of your work. I was so thankful to know that her heart went beyond saving the least to loving each person involved in the children's lives. First families, communities, staff. That is the big picture that He sees. Thanks for sharing this. I'm sure it isn't neat and tidy and easy to leave, but He has given you a special perspective that is invaluable.


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