Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Smile of an African Orphan

As I'm sure you're tired of hearing by now, my wife and I have been in Kenya working at an orphanage for the past 5 months. Yesterday we welcomed 2 new additions to our team, Gideon and Kristy Walker. They will be in charge of the education here at the orphanage. Yesterday, we were sitting in the Living Room and introducing them to all the children. After playing and watching the children for a while, Gideon looked at me and said, "Wow, are they always like this? They seem so happy." At first I was taken back and didn't know what to say. Honestly, I wasn't sure what he was talking about. Are they always like this? What do you mean?

I guess I was just so used to being around all the children every day. I guess I didn't realize how they were always happy. Don't get me wrong, they are still children. Constantly crying about a toy that another kid stole, peeing their pants, and not listening to instructions. But yea, he is right, the Children are always beaming like a light.

Why are they so happy? Sometimes when I'm around them I feel saddened in my heart. I look into their faces and think to myself, "How could someone ever abandon these children?" They are such a gift from God. I could not imagine being abandoned by my parents. I can't imagine having to walk around my entire life knowing that my parents didn't want me. They didn't think that I was worth keeping. That would crush my spirit. But although that's the situation most our children come from, they are still filled with overflowing joy. They have the innocence of a child. These children know that they are loved, cared for, and valued.

I know that in the future these children will be aware of what happened to them. How we are not their biological father and mother. (We have a slightly different skin tone :) I can't tell them who their parents are. I can't tell them when their Birthday is. I can't tell them why their parents didn't want them. All these thing I can't do. What I can do though is make sure these children know that Jesus knows when they were born; The reason he knows is because he was there. He loves you and had a purpose for your life. You are loved more than you can possibly imagine. I also have the great honor of being able to display the adoptive heart of God the father that he has towards all of us!

May these children continue to be filled with joy and spread it to all they meet!

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