I've been thinking a lot about our son. He's never far from my thoughts, even in the middle of the night. I wake up thinking about him and pray all the time for him. Is he abandoned in a bush somewhere or worse.... Is he hurt, is he crying, is he hungry? Please God - I beg mercy for my boy and and your hand to guide him into the loving arms of the nuns at the orphanage.
I want to leave this blog with a dose of reality that many children face in Rwanda. One of the team members from AGCI returned from spending three months there and shared her experience visiting our orphanage (Home of Hope). I'll warn you it's really hard to read....but I believe truth is power and once you know what's happening I ask you to pray about your part in fighting the cause of the orphan?
"Our nun hurried us down a long, cement hallway to another room - I was so shocked to see over a hundred metal cribs, pushed together in clusters here and there. The silence was my first shock, not one baby was crying. The stillness of the room caused my heart to freeze, as well as my feet and thoughts. Why are they so quiet?
She began again, 'All these babies are orphans. True orphans. No father, no mother. They come to us sometimes in the middle of the night with umbilical cords still attached, naked, filthy from being birthed into a pit latrine hole (usually 20' deep) and they are left at our gate in plastic bags. Sometimes the person who found them in the latrine had put the newborn in a plastic bag and leaves the child in the road in the middle of the night because they don't want to be noticed by neighbors. The Sector official gets up early every morning to see if there are any 'bags' on the road, and if so, he brings them to the metal gate. That is how we get most of our children'. Prostitutes, especially child prostitutes, and over-burdened widows are desperate to get rid of their baby. They feel they have no other way. They are starving themselves. Some of their other children are beggars on the street. They live in the mud huts, they have no hope.
We have only been in this cemented room for a few minutes when I find myself just standing and staring.....I am now listening to this young woman tell me how thousands of mothers choose to dispose of their child and in many cases, the child dies alone in a bag. I slowly look around the room. There's too many. My eyes and hands fall to the nearest one. I touch his frail fingers. My touch startles him. Did this little one come in a plastic bag only a few moments ago? I didn't know this existed in our world. How is America to know? Will they care? Or is this just another Africa story on poverty?
They are waiting. They don't know they are waiting- right now they are a mass of humanity waiting for life to unfold. Like a rose bud. The petals are fragile - but each uniquely beautiful. They are too young for dreams or opinions or even the knowledge of a family. They know caring, yet I don't think they know love. They only know the hands of the nuns - not the arms of a mother. And there are too few nuns to share arms. "
"Is this not the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter - when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; they your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry out for help, and he will say: Here am I."