Sunday, September 23, 2012

Where He is, there will be hope!

Reece's Rainbow is an incredible organization - very much like The Shepherd's Crook.  They post pictures of children all over the world with special needs.  It started with one mama who loved her son - Reece - with Down Syndrome.  She wanted to save others who should be treasured, but were discarded instead.  There are children from China, Taiwan, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Columbia, B*lgaria, and more.

The B*lgarian children have grabbed my heart from the very beginning.  There big beautiful brown eyes and dark complexions are captivating.  But even more captivating - or should I say horrifying? - is the treatment these precious little ones receive at the hands of those who are assigned to care for them...

I have traveled the road on my understanding of orphanages...I started out, when we were adopting Romeo & the Professor, thinking orphanges weren't "the best" place, but not too concerned. (I loved the fact that Romeo & the Professor were in a "foster" home in Guatemala - until I found out their care was very poor!)  Then, as God lead us to Grace, I began to see that even though she is in a "good" orphanage, it is still a far cry from being part of a family.  She is not held and sung to.  She is not encouraged to grow and move and smile.  She just lays there.....until a nurse flips her over and she lays there again.  Eventually a PT comes in for a weekly visit - but what can a once-a-week visit due for a body stiffening from lack of use?

But, as I learned more of B*lgaria, I realized that an orphanage wasn't just far from "ideal" - it can be a horrible place - where children are left in their beds, in their own waste.  Where they are feed from old beer bottles; bottles filled with putrid brown water.  Stuff so vile, that it makes the children gag - when they gag and stop eating, the worker moves to the next child.  End of meal time. 

I began to see children who were absolutely skeletal in their appearance.  14 year olds who weigh 14 pounds.  This is NOT due to some "special need" this is due to evil people abusing those who cannot defend themselves.  These are children who have not been out of their cribs for more years than some of my children have been alive.  This is hell.

When I thought it could not get any worse, there are stories coming out this last week, from families who have just rescued their precious children, of horrific physical abuse as well.  Bruises and cigar burns on their little bodies.  Many families have to visit the orphange until all the paperwork is complete to take their children home.  One family saw very quickly that one little boy (who does have a family racing to rescue him) was hated by the staff - probably because he was of "Roma" descent.  One staff member would call an older boy over and have that older boy hit and abuse this little 5 year old boy.  The family was horrified, but could do nothing....They wondered if the staff was willing to do this in front of foreigners, what happens to him when no one is watching?

This sounds too horrific to be true, doesn't it?  Because we would not even dream of laying a hand in such a way on a child in anger; we just cannot fathom that this could be happening.  I also think because they are just "stories" with no faces attached, we can easily shove them away, to protect our own hearts.  How could someone be so evil?

When I first began to see all these little faces after we began the paperwork for Grace, I prayed that God would not let me look away.  That no matter what it was, I would keep shouting and praying for these little ones.  Some days, oh, how I want to forget.  To not know what I know!  But as a friend told me, "Once you know, you cannot not know anymore."  The little faces are with me wherever I go....I cannot forget. 

It changes how I see life - I hold my children tighter, but loosen my grip on other things that do not matter so much.  I want to continue to organize my life so we can save more.  I want my children to understand - we protect them from a lot of the extreme information - but I want them to know that all is not right in the world.  I want them to know that God has commanded us to care for the orphans and widows.  How we do that will look different depending on how God calls each person - but He DOES call each person to do something....

With B*lgaria, an adoption agency gets a "batch" of files of orphanded children about every 8 weeks.  They have those files for 8 weeks only and then, if no family is found, the files are sent back to the country.  The files may or may not go on to another agency.

When I first found Reece's Rainbow, it was nearing the end of a batch of files...and people were screaming for families to rescue the last little boy, Kristopher, from being "sent back".  Oh, how I prayed and cried for this little boy!  God heard our cries, and he was chosen - RESCUED - at the last moment.  I saw it again as we all screamed for a family for precious, Sarah.  Again, God raised up a family to save her at the last minute.  Then came a new batch of files...we all screamed and prayed and waited...but many of the children's files went back.  This is not only heartbreaking for that child, but it also sends a message to their country that their country is right - that these children are worthless and unwanted.....that they deserve to be treated worse than animals, because no one cares.  They have no value, no worth...nothing.

Slowly, three of those children are being rescued by families asking agencies to request their specific files. Here are those three loved and precious ones...


Praise God!  He is mighty to save!  He has saved these precious children from hell on earth.  Please pray for their families as they race to get the paperwork done and raise the funds to get them home.

BUT there are two children that have still not been rescued, their files sent back where no one can see them to save them....Please pray with me, for God to bring a family willing to serve Him, but loving these little children that He loves...

Little Roland is a tiny little guy - he has a form of dwarfism.  But other than that, he is "healthy" by orphanage standards.  He walks, is trying to talk, feeds himself, interacts and plays.  But he is so tiny...orphanage "food" is rarely "food".  It does not nurish the body, it just keeps it alive.  Click here to read more about him. 

This is beautiful Penny.  Oh, how my heart aches for her!  She is 11 years old and is in the worst orphanage in her country.  She is so skinny and frail.  She is so neglected that her major joints are "contracted" (stiffened to the point they do not move) and her mouth is full of rotting teeth.  But those who have seen her say that there is a precious life in this little one!  A little girl longing to be held and loved and sung to.  This little one holds her Father's heart....please pray that she grabs someone else's heart as well.  Someone that will use all the strength of Heaven to save her from the hell she is in....
Please pray with me!  Christ is on the throne.  Our God is the Hand of Providence.  We have HOPE.  We have hope in God's mighty Hand to save these two "forgotten" ones.  Please let them be etched into your heart so that your prayers always include them....
I will keep shouting for these little ones until He comes...To Christ be all glory, honor, and praise.

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