June 9, 2011 § 4 Comments
I am actually writing this post on day 4. Last night it was too late and i was too tired to clearly articulate the day.
As i write now i can’t help but think how appropiate it is that i waited until today to post. I believe the silence and rest that the night brought was enough to clear my thoughts enough to type out the details and thoughts from the day.
It was orphanage day yesterday.
Our first stop for the day was at a handicap orphanage. Mentally, i don’t think we were all prepared for what we would see.
The orphans varied in ages from babies to young adults. An interesting, and heartbreaking fact, was that some were only physically handicap, and others mentally. This meant that some only suffered from physical problems that could easily be fixed by simple surgeries here in the states.
There was one little boy that stood out to me among the rest. He was a thumbsucker and looked to be around oliver’s age. His issue? He had what looked like club feet. I know a surgery in the states could easily fix that. However because of where he was he wouldn’t recieve that. Oh how i wanted to take him home and give him a life he will otherwise not really have. I found myself praying over these special kids. Praying they would see and feel God’s love through us.
This visit really impacted our whole group and it was something to watch the individual reactions on each team member.
I remember seeing tears on many faces, and eyes that hurt. The initial reaction was an quite reserved expression on each of us. We were not sure what to think. Our means of communication was different this time.
We brought bubbles along with us and used these to speak to the kids. Many of the kids could not speak, they weren’t mentally able to, or just too young to. We were able to reach out and touch them, hug them, hold hands.
It was a different, humbling experience. These kids had almost nothing. Maybe the clothes they were wearing, some not even that. Poorly constructed diapers was the only means of clothing on some.
They laid on cribs with only a simple sheet. A few toys could be seen. It was clean there, but so bare. I was amazed at the nothingness there.
Some things I will remember,
kids with only diapers
white painted walls
bare metal cribs, white sheets
kids reaching out to be held
tears in their eyes from being touched
tears in our eyes from their reaction to love
simpleness of their living
watching our group offer prayer over some of them
We walked away with hearts that were burdened to do more for them. Our bus ride away from the orphanage was different, it was quiet.
I could write much about this, it was hard to watch, to take in, to let sink in. But as Jonah said to our group of girls last night, what will I do with what I’ve seen? How will I let it influence me from here on out?
Our next stop was at a sports complex in a local village. There were many there ranging in ages from little children to adults. We were able to play volleyball, basketball and so many other sports with them. Interestingly I’ve watched many of them make up games out of nothing. At Denny’s house the guys were playing with some of the local guys here using bottle caps and a stick for a game of baseball of sorts. It’s that kind of thinking that always keeps us busy, keeps us interacting with the locals here.
It’s such an awesome experience to be here with each of these kids. Seeing them in this environment with very little material possessions, has been so inspiring to me. The kindness, generous hearts in each of them is a true reflection of the very reason they came. To show Christ through each of them. I only wish each parent could see how they daily talk, play and influence all the Dominican people we come in touch with. I am humbled and pushed to reach out even farther past my comfort zone, to do what may not be easy, to get dirty when I may not feel like it, to offer hugs, loving words, smiles, and songs when I don’t think I can. Jesus living through me. Isn’t that why we are here?
I’m so proud of the stand that each team member is taking, especially each teen/college age member with us.
I hope we can accurately portray this through our travel blog photos and videos.
The memories are forever. I hope!