We were prayed up, prepared, ready to go and then, their little faces were in front of us. Not just "our" boys, but all of "God's" children, too. They were smiling and hoping for a kind word or a gentle touch. Some were shy and hung back, inching their way closer to see this American Mama and Papa who had come for their friend. Others came full steam ahead and planted themselves in our laps and in our faces. They loved with abandon, soaking up all that they could until the next Mama and Papa on a rescue mission came through the doors and offered a warm lap to climb in and it was heartbreaking and soul-crushing to see them there. They climbed into our hearts and now they won't let go.
All of the children we met during our first week had special needs. They were the "least of these." There was no physical beauty that would make you desire them. There needs were great and our hearts broke a little more each day. Then, we moved on leaving one son behind and heading to another place to meet our next son. What we found here was different. Our child and one other were the babies and 2 of only 3 with special needs. I wouldn't even say they have special needs, really. And, we thought we could breath, again. The weight felt a little lighter, easier to bear. As we witnessed these 20 children, in an orphanage hidden away at what felt like the end of the world, play and laugh and love each other and their teachers/caretakers.
It was different here, but God wasn't finished teaching. He said, "Do you see? Do you feel what I feel? Is your heart breaking?" These aren't just numbers either. God always uses the most unlikely people to change our hearts the most, but that's the rest of the story and you'll have to come back tomorrow to hear it...
In the meantime, Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support...they're more than numbers.
Hidden in Christ,