Tuesday, January 15, 2013

a different kind of fight.

I have no problem standing up for people- it's one thing that has always seemed to come naturally to me. Last year, when a Haitian "friend" who came into our camp kept making girls feel uncomfortable by what he said and the way he looked at them, I lit into him and marched him right out outside the gate. No one messes with my high school girls. This year, when men who were getting paid to throw our luggage off the boat to the land were shoving team members out of the way, causing them to almost fall into the ocean, I let them have it. When the boat that Jesus himself probably sailed on is rocking in the waves and everyone is trying to keep their balance, why would you shove people out of the way? Everyone stared, and I didn't care. I still don't. No one is throwing my sister into the ocean. That would not end well for any of us. And they stopped. In those times, I was yelling, fighting for someone. But here I am at an orphanage, and I'm fighting here too. 

But this fight is different. It's a very different kind of fight. It's a lot more soft spoken. It's a gentle hug and a smile in the morning. It's holding a hand in the afternoon as we walk around the house to look at Joe the goat. It's "that's the most beautiful flower I've ever seen you draw!" and meaning every word. It's "you are safe, and it is okay to talk to me." It's singing a child to sleep because that's the first time they haven't been around other yelling children in a long, long time. It's sitting in silence, holding tight to a 2 year old, because he likes the sound of your breathing. Here it's not a loud fight, it's one of the most quiet fights I've ever fought. Someone has to tell them that they matter. Someone has to make them feel special. A lot of the kids at the orphanage I work at have already been matched with families. But in the years that it takes them to get to their forever homes, what is happening to them? They are learning English from great teachers, and being held, and being cared for, and making friends. But when you walk into a room of 15 toddlers and 2 nannies, it doesn't matter how much each nanny loves each child. And believe me, they love them well. They just don't have 15 arms. These children need to know that they are special, just like every child is special. And also that they are normal children. We want them to feel like they have normal childhoods. And so, one at a time, one minute at a time, we fight. We fight for them to have joy. We fight for them to have the best life they possibly can. We fight for them to meet their full potential. Sometimes that fight looks like changing a diaper. Sometimes that fight looks like taking an aluminum foil wrapper out of a kids mouth so that he doesn't choke right in front of me . Sometimes that fight looks like teaching a child how to color, and watching them create something that is their own. Sometimes that fight looks like a girl calling "yo Daddy" on the phone, because she can, and watching her take sheer delight in using all my precious international minutes. And sometimes that fight looks like celebrating with a cake as a set of twins go home with their forever family. This fight matters so much more than me yelling at some man because he isn't being respectful to my friends. This fight is about these children's future. Each fight is different, and each day of battle looks different too. Thanks to donations, that are always needed, these children receive 3 meals a day and round the clock healthcare. I don't mean that it's up to us to save these children's souls. God is large & in charge. But God has placed us here, and I believe he has me here to fight. To fight with the most love that I could ever have. To fight off the sadness, loss, depression, anger, bitterness and hurt that could easily consume these children and to bring in Light and life, and happiness and peace. To point them to the One who will supply all their needs. The One who alone can bring them true joy and take away their pain. All through Him and for Him. 

This is Daniel, coloring for the first time. 

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."  Matthew 19:14

1 comment:

  1. You go girl!! So proud of all you are doing! Love you !