You've heard me talk about the orphans that we help with the auctions for. I mentioned a few weeks ago, that the Lord gave us a wonderful ministry opportunity on the tenth, when Daddy's store held it's fifth year anniversary.
It was a wonderful blessing! We saw so many people give to help bring Penny and Julia, coming from that orphanage, home to their family here in VA!
I made over a hundred tatted bookmarks and zipper tags (at least eighty of them in less than a week!) for a tatting table, and we made some signs and set out a jar. For every donation made, the donor got a tatted item :). Daddy had a basket drawing going, and I was able to give people a run down about what we were raising money for as they signed up to enter for the basket, waited for their child to get their face painted, or get a balloon animal (before heading to the back to see Bob and Larry- haha ;).)
There were some people who passed by who were genuinely interested, and stayed to talk about it for several minutes, before taking a flyer with links on spots to read more about it once they got home. One lady who donated was there with her own little adopted duaghter :). One man didn't have cash with him, but took a flyer with the donation page address on it, and his little girls were adorable, haha :). One family came in with a three year old Emmi :). There were so many others, as well. It was so exciting to see the response we got! One man actually donated before the table was even set up.
My favorite story, though, was the elderly gentleman who came after the "celebration" was over. Bob and Larry had left, balloons were gone, and snacks were eaten, but Tori and I kept the table up until Daddy was ready to leave. I am so glad we did, not only because there was still a great deal of interest, but because of the older couple who walked by and signed up for the gift basket. While they did so, I mentioned the fact that we were also raising money for the adoption fund of little Miss Penny, and her future sister Julia, who are waiting to come to their family in the next several months. They both seemed really interested. The man then shared with us, as he placed a donation in the jar, his love for those with special needs. He told us that his father had had special needs, and that he felt that his training would have actually been lacking had his father not had those handicaps! Obviously, he was not saying that he thinks that those who do not are inferior, but he does believe the Lord knew that he personally needed that kind of father. Just from the way he talked about him, I could tell that he had a great respect and love for his father, and that he was truly thankful for his father's "teaching him how to be a man". He was thrilled that we had something going to help these little ones come home! He stayed and chatted about it for quite a while before telling us, before taking leave, that he prayed that "our efforts would be rewarded".
Let it suffice to say that they were! We were blessed that day by the whole experience. We made a few friends, met some wonderful people, and raised a good bit that will help these two girls! Daddy also kept up a box in front for others to donate throughout the following week. One man, during that week, asked him to tell him more about what the money was to be used for (Daddy had the sign up, but there is only so much you can fit on a piece of paper!). After learning a bit more about the orphanage, the girls, their family, and the fundraiser he gave $100. I was completely shocked when Daddy brought that home and told me the story!
Of course, not everybody gave that much. Most gave two or three dollars. But you know what? That is all it took! We personally can't give over two hundred dollars right now. But once the Lord brought this ministry opportunity into our life, he also brought others who weren't able to donate over two hundred dollars right now. And together, we did.
Maybe we can't adopt right now. Maybe we can't even give much to an adoption fund right now. But we can do something. God has given us our gifts to use for his glory, and he has given us a command to "care for the widows and the fatherless". No certain one of us will be able to do it all- otherwise, God would have given this specific command to those who could, not to all of us! Our means of help might be a kind word, a day spent helping out, a prayer. There are many ways to help that don't even involve money- in fact, many times, it is the gifts that you don't even mean to give that bless the most. Many times a note or a smile is all it takes to help some one going through a hard time to feel a bit brighter! Any little bit of help could mean so much in the lives of these little ones who have nothing. Because...
There are still little ones waiting.
Waiting for someone to come rescue them.
Waiting for someone to feed them, change them, and brush their teeth.
Waiting for someone to come help them reach their fullest potential.
Waiting for someone to love them even though they haven't reached that full potential yet.
Waiting for someone to smile at them.
Waiting for someone to love them.
To tell them that they have worth.
To tell them that they matter.
To tell them that Jesus loves them, no matter what.
To tell them that, when they have been looked on with disfavor, it was through blinded eyes.
To tell them that, whether we are to play a major or minor part in their story, we care how that story ends.
Some little ones, like Penny, Julia, and Chad, are just waiting to come home to their family that has already committed to do this already, families eagerly waiting for the government to release their hold and let them bring those children home.
Others, like Brandi, are waiting for the Lord to send them a family to commit to this. Still waiting for the day when someone will say, you matter to me. And I love you.
The stories of the lives of these children are sad, not only because the Lord has given us families for a reason. It is also heartbreaking, because these children aren't even being treated like they are human.
How would you feel, if the Lord himself gave you a photo of himself? Not a painting of what someone thinks Jesus looks like. No, imagine that this was a photograph of Jesus himself. From Jesus himself.
And somebody destroyed that photo. Placed it through a shredding machine, and crumbled up the pages before throwing them on the floor to be walked on.
You would do your best to put the pieces back together, of course. But it would never be fully fixed.
Remember Tommy? Just a year ago, on Abbi's fourth birthday, I shared that he had a family coming to get him.
For years, this little soul, made in the image of God, was being destroyed. He was neglected, broken, hurt, and badly. He suffered far too much. The only thing that Tommy had wrong with him was low muscle tone! Low muscle tone is not the cause of all the health problems he now has!!! It was neglect and starvation.
The Lord led his family to this little image. And they are doing all they can to mend the past. To show him what love is, to help him to heal.
Tommy is the size of a five year old, who acts much like a two month old, because until the Lord showed him to his family, nobody else had ever taken the time to love, nurture, and teach him.
Many others in his former orphanage are suffering the same neglect. They are in much the same state, although some have not been suffering so long. Maybe, Tommy was allowed to stay there so long, so that he could be used to show others what is happening. So that others wouldn't be left to suffer like this.
And we can help! These little ones most desperately need families. Not even just these children; all orphans. Even if we are not their family, they still need our help, as well. Prayers, donations, other help to those we may know who are working on rescuing them, sharing the importance of these little ones, anything we can do to show the world that they matter in God's kingdom, and we agree with our King!
4 Sing to God, sing praises to his name;
lift up a song to him who rides through the deserts;
his name is the Lord;
exult before him!
5 Father of the fatherless and protector of widows
is God in his holy habitation.
6 God settles the solitary in a home;
he leads out the prisoners to prosperity,
but the rebellious dwell in a parched land.