Saturday, October 10, 2009

Let Me Tell You About Jesus....

My eyes and my heart have just absorbed so much in 37 years. Sometimes it’s hard to breathe as I read more and more about the children out there subjected to the abuse, starvation, and neglect.

We read about child trafficking. We hear how people are stealing children, but often we forget about those that remain as maltreated possessions of the cruel and money hungry.
Often we forget about those that are genuinely starving IN the care of an orphanage, because support is so scattered. We forget about the little child, covered in filth, walking the streets at this very moment…as you sit at your computer…a child living on the edge, vulnerable to the dredges of the child sex trade. Being treated like cattle, worse than cattle…. there for the enjoyment of the perverse.

I’ve been reading about some children in an orphanage remaining under the fist of unscrupulous adults in Sierra Leone. Profiting off these children, but treating them like dogs. Refusing to let children go and having the connections to fight the release of these children within the government. Money being the reason for horror. They have a safe and secure haven that God has provided waiting for them, but yet they still remain. I don’t doubt God will triumph over this adversity and bless them in unimaginable ways, yet….right now there is fear for their welfare. Fear of the abuse (all forms) heaped upon the remaining children. The children they are clinging to like the last scraps of a shredded hope for profit.

The need in Kenya has been shared with us….effected by the drought and the lack of sufficient crops. Children there not knowing where their next meal will come from. The flu having already hit with the ability for medical care absent or closely so. So many children, already ill from malnourishment will fall victim to this next scourge upon them.

In Ethiopia, a beautiful country on my heart daily, new orphans are created every moment. One in six children will die by the age of five. Aids still ravages the landscape. You can meet the most amazing people who have nothing…literally. Street children are not unusual to see, but remarkably common. Take a moment…picture your child…with no one. Picture them sitting on a street corner knowing mommy or daddy will not be coming to pick them up. This is reality. I see my eight-year-old Anna, having no one and yet at eight being an older child on the street.

I remember being in Russia, seeing the stream rise from the huge trash bins and smelling the urine as we walked around Max’s orphanage as we introduced him to the outside world. I remember watching the fear in his eyes as he touched a tree for the very first time. Seeing the bones protrude under his translucent skin.

I visited with a sweet woman and she shared with me some insight into her adoption of a little one from India. She told me to watch “Slum Dog Millionaire” if I wanted to see what life was really like there. She said it’s remarkably accurate. I did. I cried as I saw the filth perpetrated on children. It made me sick with the thoughts of what adults can do. I physically felt ill at things I had yet to imagine because they are so heinous. Blinding children so that they may make more money begging…. and so many other tragedies that no child should have to live through.

In our own country, hardly a week goes by that we don’t hear of some horrible act against a child. CPS is bogged down with the neglected, unwanted, and abused little ones of our society.

Yet they wait. They hunger. They shiver in the cold or swelter in the heat. They have crust covering their eyes and noses and have flies crawling across their faces. Their ribs protrude as they hold out their hands that are often no bigger than the palm of yours. They smile as they fill their mouths with dirt or leaves to try to fill their little stomachs.
They are children of our Heavenly Father that we ignore.

We ignore them for vacations, cruises, larger televisions, or nicer clothes. We ignore for an expensive restaurant, or the all treasured new game system. We ignore them for a new computer program or the new power tool. I’m the worst. I ignore them for convenience. I ignore them for a quick meal out instead of cooking. I ignore them for the instant pleasure of a purchase that I don’t need, but want.

I do think it’s a blessing to be able to enjoy what we have, but for us to conclude what we do for these little ones is ever enough is naïve. It will never be enough. “The poor will always have with you, but you will not always have me.” Matthew 26:11.

Yet, I remain in tears today…with my heart heavy…loaded down, with the burden of need for these little ones. What difference can we make for these children? We have the opportunity…through our Heavenly Father, to make every difference. We have the opportunity to say not only, “I can”, but “I will”. We can not hold the hand of our child, our precious blessing, and not realize how blessed we are. We cannot ignore the tugging on our shirts saying, “I have no one, will you leave me here too?” Our hearts cannot remain intact, ignoring the wail of the motherless…the fatherless, alone on the streets…in orphanages…being sold…alone…abandoned…cold…hungry…alone…alone…alone….

As I sit here tonight, I pray from the bottom of my heart that each and every Christian will listen to the child tugging on their shirt. I pray that they will hear the little voice from next door or across the world. I fall to my knees and beg, plead, and cry out for someone to hear the voice…and answer the question “Will you leave me here too?”

I long to hear the answer….

“You are my child, a child of the most amazing Heavenly Father. I will not ignore you. I will adopt you, as God adopted me. I will have mercy, as mercy has been given to me. I will feed you, as I have been fed. Let me tell you about Jesus….”

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