Well our first day in our orphanage is complete.
It's really going to be hard for me to put it into words but I'll try my best. Honestly, even coming up with a sentence is difficult...
The building is just a short 15 minute drive from our hotel. When we arrived we were given a short tour of the children's floors. We were shown babies that had just arrived...one that had to not be more than a few days old with a large cleft lip/palate. Two down's babies and a set of twins with some sort of craniofacial issue. Just laying in beds silent. I think it was me (seems foggy) that broke the silence and asked of we could touch them. I think we all let out a breath of air when she said "of course!" We saw a lot of hard stuff.
But in the midst of it, there is a lot of good. Happy, seemingly healthy (other than mental disabilities) children. Giggling and running and playing. Duck, duck goose with the older children. Rehab with some of the SN kids. Lots of Down's kids, mostly boys. So precious. The staff are incredible. They really love the children. They are caring for over 200 children and literally doing all they can. You can see it in their faces and it's reflective in the kids.
We had lunch there (so hard) and they let us come back to the hotel for a break. Even though we'd only been there a few hours, it was much needed. Just to process and pray and talk things out.
When we returned, it was a much different atmosphere! Light and fun as the children put on a performance for us! It was AWESOME!!!!!!!!!! Singing and dancing all kids of drama!! The nannies had dressed them and put make up on all of them (even the boys!). We were asked to do something for them as well so we did a few songs...they were MUCH better than we were <3
Before we left the assistant director spoke to us. She says she wants all the children adopted. To please tell people about them so that they can have families. We assured her we will. I'll be getting a list from her so we can get pictures and get them out there and advocate for these treasures!!!!
Last night, she was telling Anna and I about the children. She said many are boys because they have special needs. She said, "you may not think they are beautiful..."
oh my heart.
I pulled up Asher's picture on my phone. One that clearly showed his hands. And talked about how beautiful and perfect he was created. She doesn't understand. It's all she knows. Many of us had opportunities to lay our hand on babies and pray and whisper over them scripture and tell them they are perfectly made by a God who adores them. Ale spoke those words over a downs syndrome child, who looked up and her, nodded, and had a tear rolling down his face. We believe the Lord opened that little boys ears for just a minute to allow him to hear and understand despite the language barrier...that he was perfect.
There is no solution for these children apart from the Gospel. No hope. And the Gospel can reach them in two ways. Someone coming here to share Christ. Or adoption. When I think about my children living in a place like that....even a "good" orphanage, it makes my heart physically hurt.
This is a plentiful harvest. It is ripe. It is beautiful and it is waiting for workers.
Please pray for:
Conversations with nannies...a few speak a small amount of English
Protection from sickness
Food. It's hard to eat what they are serving us. We've had Chinese for 5 straight days and we need a break. Even one western meal would do us all good.
Moments like Ale had with the little boy. Holy Spirit guided moments where we listen and obey.
Continue to pray for Joan, our guide.
Good rest and sleep.
I know the Lord is going to tie our hearts to this place.
He already is.
He's giving us the opportunity to be a voice for these orphans and enter right into a piece of His heart.
And we're going to soak it in.
Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.
Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans.