It was a cold and stormy day. No hyperbole here. The weather was fierce! I slammed the door to the van and ran inside the orphanage. Our team had just arrived at a special needs orphanage in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, that Point of Impact (POI) partners with. Our team visited this particular orphanage for the purpose of donating supplies. We also planned to spend some time with the children there. The kids from both POI homes were with us so they too could serve fellow children at this special needs orphanage.
Needless to say, my heart was full from what I saw next. Our POI kids were formerly rescued from the streets themselves. They were saved from unwholesome family predicaments (among many other things) yet now the Lord had given them new life through POI. And talk about a full circle. There were our rescued children busy with the gospel mandate to rescue others who were in need—the evening was a perfect illustration of God’s grace and mercy that he first extends to us then extends through us.
Yet the evening reminded me of just how much grace and mercy God may want to extend through me—and prayerfully, to those of you reading this blog. We visited another one of the houses for the orphans fraught with the needs of innocent children. They needed more supplies. They needed doctors. They needed a vehicle in order to transport their children. The list went on and on. And as a newcomer I felt helpless with a burden I know only God could lift. As I walked around the room I whispered prayers of desperation that God would meet the needs of these precious children. I met a baby boy only a few months younger than my 17 mo. old son. His name was Jose David. He was lying down in great discomfort trying to go to sleep. He was in pain and his constant wincing released the tears I had been trying to hold back. I asked an attending woman what his story was to which she replied, “He suffers from Hydrocephalus. His case doesn’t look like others because he contracted his illness after he was born. When he was born Jose David was thrown into a dumpster where his head was struck. This caused his condition.” Well the tears became an all-out sob of course. I walked into the next room hoping not to cause a scene.
When I regained my composure I met another girl lying in bed. She was covered by a blanket from her chest down yet, this girl, whose face resembled that of a teenager’s, couldn’t have been too much bigger than my one year old. A therapist next to her informed me that this girl’s name was Claudia. Claudia was 16 and had suffered from malnutrition her entire life. For years she hadn’t been able to move. Now that she was receiving care she was finally able to move her arm somewhat and turn her head from side to side.
By now you can imagine my feelings of despair and anguish. You can imagine the disbelief in my heart I felt to see these precious little ones suffering the way that they had been. You can imagine my lostness in wondering what to say and what to do. But I remembered a Scripture that teaches that when we are weak, then is God strong. And my moment of weakness was met by the Lord with His great strength. God met me on that dark and stormy day. And the light of Christ began to shine as I listened for His response. As I wept there in that room God met me. And He reminded me about His great care for these children. And He reminded me that because HE CARES there is HOPE. These kids aren’t done. Their story is not finished. There’s a future. There’s a light. There’s a good ending that’s coming. God showed me that though I felt helpless and overwhelmed, these children were feeling His love being poured out over them in tangible ways for the first time in their lives. For the first time ever, these children had real people who truly loved them and were ready and willing to do all they could to look after them and protect them. And more than even this, God reminded me that, “These are MY kids. And I care.”
Encouraged by God’s truth I began that night to DO something. I desired nothing more but to come alongside the great God as He came alongside these children. I was not able to do much but I had to start somewhere. And that night I learned that, for me, starting meant being there. Starting meant being present. Starting meant being with these children. It meant asking questions about Claudia and Jose David. It meant committing to pray for them. It meant helping provide the resources for them in whatever way I could. It meant believing that the little I could do was still SOMETHING. It meant taking my eyes off myself and fixing them on Jesus and his people. It meant reminding myself that God is in control and gets all the glory.
So my “something” has begun. And yours can to. Let me ask you—What does something look like for you? What does your “Being there” mean? Where will you start in this journey of bringing God glory through the nations?
“Declare His glory among the nations!” –Psalm 96:3
“Give justice to the weak and the fatherless;
maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.” Psalm 82:3
“He executes justice for the orphan and the widow and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing.” –Deut 10:18