So for the past 3 days, as both Alice & Leonie have blogged about, we have been working at the orphanage. Personally, I have been experiencing a complex array of emotions over the past few days. I have always had a desire to work in an orphanage, and I am thankful that God is currently allowing me to do so. Just looking at these children both breaks my heart as well as gives me hope. It breaks my heart that the one and a half year old little girl's mother passed away during the earthquake, and she was subsequently pulled from the rubble and brought to the orphanage by her uncle because he felt that her father could no longer take care of her. It breaks my heart when we found out exactly why one of the little boys spontaneously cries and sobs uncontrollably; he was recently dropped off at the orphanage by his mother, only 8-10 days ago and his father had previously passed away. It breaks my heart that children so loving and affectionate with us, who just want to hold our hands or lean against us, are living without biological family members at such a young age. However, among all of this sorrow, there is hope. Both yesterday and today we have asked one of the older kids to pray after our lesson, and I have been both touched and moved both times. On Tuesday, just hearing the prayers of one of the girls brought tears to my eyes. She prayed with so much passion for us and our safe travels, she thanked God for us, she prayed for the pastor and his wife who have made these children their own, and she prayed for many other things that we incredibly powerful. And today, the girl who prayed also moved me. It's just something about the raw passion and love for Jesus that some of these children possess that get me. They are without their mothers & fathers, their own rooms, their own beds, and simple comforts that we take advantage of at home, like computers and internet access in our homes. It just blows me away that these children are so thankful, when in reality, they have so little.
Leaving on Friday is probably going to be one of the most difficult things that I will ever have to do. I know that these children have made an impression on my life and my heart, and I know that this is what God has wanted me to feel. I more than likely will never see any of these children again, but yet it brings me genuine happiness when I think of going back the next two days. On the contrary, it troubles me that we only have two more days with these children. I will miss the way they smile when you look at them and make eye contact. I will miss how passionately they get involved in an activity as simple as coloring or drawing. I will miss them saying "photo, photo" and then when we go to take the picture, at least 5 more kids join in and put their arms around you or jump on your lap to be in the picture with you. I will miss all of these things, but what I will miss the most is the children themselves. These children are the hope and future of Haiti, and I just thank God and praise Him for the Pastor and his wife, and that they provide for these children as best they can. I will leave you with the passage that we taught the kids today, and ask you to say a little prayer for these children, the pastor and his wife, the workers at the orphanage, and the orphanage itself.
13 People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.