Another day at the baby orphanage... another piece of my heart left behind. If I keep this up, pretty soon I'm not going to have any of my heart left!
I wish I had actual pictures to share with you. Sadly, we are strictly forbidden to take photographs of the children. How I long for you to see their darling faces! How I yearn to open your eyes to what we see there.
I tried very earnestly to chat and converse with the local orphanage workers today. We want them to feel appreciated in their work. We are only allowed to come twice a week, but these ladies are the ones who really "mother" the children day in and day out. We want them to feel special. When a woman is pampered, she often treats her family better in return. We want that same effect to ripple through this orphanage. The love and respect we show them will hopefully cause them to treat the children with deeper love and care. I was happy to be the "translator" for the day, flitting to and fro helping so-and-so talk to so-and-so. It was an honor to help bridge the communication gap between us volunteers and the workers. Their eyes brighten whenever we speak their language. It's as if all of a sudden we are no longer strangers. We are friends.
The little baby I talked about in a previous post? I thought he was a boy. But I was wrong. "He" is a she. They often shave the little babies' heads in orphanages, so it's difficult to determine the genders. I gently scooped up my baby love and cuddled her in my lap as we looked at books and toys. I was told she was found on the street.
On. The. Street.
Can you even imagine?
When it was time to feed the children, we line them all up on benches side by side and put their little bibs on. We can only feed one child at a time (there are way more children then workers), so the children waiting for their turn sit patiently with wide eyes, watching every spoonful the child next to them is getting. One little girl waited so long that she was the very last one to be fed. She is my own daughter's age. Her eyes are big and brown, her hair cut in a short bob, and her smile like the sun. She didn't make one peep waiting for her turn. As I fed her, my eyes welled up with tears wishing I could be the one to sing her to sleep every night.
All the children sleep in white cribs with white blankets and white pillows in a white room. No sweet kisses or lingering hugs at naptime, just quick placement into their cribs. There are so many babies and so much work to be done, how could the workers gently lullaby each child to sleep individually? It's not possible. They have to clean up lunch, wash the clothes, and everything else in between.
If you can, for just one moment, imagine your child, or your nephew, or your grandchild. Now imagine them as if they were in this orphanage. Does that break your heart? Every single child in this orphanage is special, worthy of love and care. They are not just another number or statistic. Each one holds a special place in my heart, but more importantly, in Father's heart.
I wish I could post some actual photographs of the children. But instead, I found some pictures online of baby orphanages around the world that are very similar to this one. Sometimes we need something visual to stimulate our minds and help us grasp a concept.
Will you take a few moments to pray? For the children, for the workers, for us. Oh how we need it.
And then ask yourself, "What can I do to help?"
Let Father speak to you as you listen, and don't be afraid of His answer.