Friday, April 10, 2015

“A person may rightfully be happy if in this life he could offer help to widows and orphans, could make life give them joy.” — Islom Karimov

The orphans we have fed, educated, and loved over the past ten years now number in the thousands.  At present, we feed, educate, and love almost a hundred orphans a day under the age of six.  At one point were were helping almost 200 orphans a day, but we couldn’t keep it up.  Happily, others stepped into the gap, so they are still being fed and cared for, just not by us.  The miracle is that they don’t know how poor they are.  They don’t know that almost two out of every ten will not live to see their eighth birthday.  They don’t know that they may not be able to continue their educations past the preschool that we provide.  They do know that they are at the bottom of the pecking with the local people who care for them.  The natural children get the new clothes, the school fees, and the majority if not all of the food.  They know that they are not loved and respected in the homes in which they find themselves.  However, they know that here they are loved, they are fed, they are educated, the are respected, and they get uniforms they didn’t have to buy.  They love their time here.  School starts at nine o’clock in the morning, but they start arriving around seven A.M. if for no other reason than to get out of the oppressive conditions in which they live.  They love it here so much, that they run to the bathroom and back so they don’t miss anything.  They hug our necks and smile and laugh in a way that is the equivalent of a handful of Prozac.  In the picture at the right, I told them to get together in a group so I could take a picture.  You can see how they interpreted those instructions—as only the joyous innocence of kids knowing they were loved could do.  We do a lot of other projects and church related things here at the mission, but nothing fills our souls with joy like the work we do with these small children who Christ ordered others to let them come unto Him.  I know why.  They may not live long, they may not go home to pleasant surroundings, they may not get the education they want and deserve, but while they are here, they are loved and filled with happiness.  Christ told us to remember the widows and orphans.  We do, and we are so much better and happier as result.  There are simply not adequate words to express how we feel, or how they do.  For a few hours a day, they feel safe, loved, important, and know God’s touch as they are held and hugged by the teachers, the cook, and us.  They may consider themselves blessed, but we are the ones who live in the warmth and light of Christ’s love because we love and care for them.  We are truly blessed.
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