Amazing day of heart break and hope...
Our team of 15 people split into two groups - seven of us went to the Home for Sick and Dying Children and the other eight to Gertrude's Special Needs Orphanage. After lunch we switched locations so we could all experience both places.
The Home for Sick and Dying Children housed about 100 babies, plus a waiting room full of people hoping to have their babies admitted. We didn't know where to start, we wanted to hold them all! Some were very sick with fevers, some were attached to IV's, most were malnourished, and some were able to toddle around on their own. The all had something in common, huge brown eyes and the desire to be loved and held. Many of the children appeared much smaller and younger than their actual age. We were able to feed them, change their diapers, give them water, pray for them, and love them for a time that was much too short. We connected with as many babies as we could and wished we could take every last one of them home with us on the plane!
At Gertrude's there were 20 kids with varying ages and different needs ranging from mild to quite severe. But one thing was the same, the quick smiles and joy in the attention the were experiencing. Even though many of them could not speak, they could laugh with a joy that filled the room. We tickled them, pushed them on swings, gave them wheelchair rides, and held them close.
The children at both places were very well cared for, in fact at the Home for Sick and Dying they were turning volunteers away. But it was still so difficult to leave knowing what a hard life these kids have in store for them. We were so thankful for the privilege to hold them and love them for even a short time - we hope the impact they have on us will stay fresh in our minds.
As moms, we have been so thankful to see our daughters rise to the challenge of embracing every opportunity, even when it means going out of their comfort zone. They are truly experiencing what it means to be the hands and feet of Christ!
Beth, Karen, & Kim
|Karen & Kate|
|Taite & Beth|
|Kim & Maddie|