2 Corinthians 4:9 “We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.”
The orphans we care for in our homes all feel abandoned. Many of the children we bring into the homes have been abandoned by their parents because they could no longer care for them properly. Some of these children come to be with us from some desperate situations. Even though they are usually better off living in our homes, they still feel left alone in the world.They will struggle with feelings of being unwanted and not loved for most of their lives. Dealing with these negative feelings is a large part of the our work with these children. Some of the issues are more difficult than others.
Last week our orphanage in Sierra Leone contacted us with a story that demonstrated this abandonment. As the caretaker awoke one morning, he heard some noises at the front door. When he went to check it out, he found a baby on the step. Someone had placed the baby there during the night. The baby seemed to be about 5 or 6 months old and a little boy. No note was found. When our caretaker brought him inside and unwrapped the blanket, he was shocked by what he saw. This little boy had severe burns all over his torso. The wounds were still raw and fresh. I can not even imagine what it must feel like to see such a sight. It was also noted that the baby had a hernia that needed to be repaired. We were able to raise some extra funds to provide the necessary surgery to save the life of the little boy. Now this little one will grow up with no family, other than the other children at the orphanage. He will grow up with scars on his body that will cause him to ask questions about what happen someday. How will the story of his arrival at our home impact his life going forward? The bigger question for now is what do we do with him? He has no name that we are aware of, no birth paperwork and no identity. Do we have enough staff at the home to care for such a young child? God will not leave this little one abandoned. God will provide.
This is only one of many sad story of the children in our homes. There are so many other stories that are heartbreaking as well. We have stories of single parents getting remarried and the new spouse not wanting the child so they kick them out of the house to fend for themselves. One such story occurred in Nepal and the little boy was only 5 years old when he was kicked out. When that boy arrived at our Nepal home, he had never been potty trained and he had never started school. This boy has been in our home for about a year now and you can still see the sadness in his eyes. We have stories of young girls that were suppose to be married off to old men for the dowry so the family could survive on that money for a few years. And of course stories of families that died in the recent earthquakes that left children as orphans with no one to care for them.
Even if our own lives do not have such heartbreaking stories, we too can feel abandoned and alone in this world. The death of a loved one, or a job loss, or financial struggles, or from just plain old loneliness can cause such feeling of abandonment. We can feel like the world has cast us aside. But as 2 Corinthians showed us in the verse above, we are never truly abandoned. God is always with us. He loves each of us with a love that we will never fully understand. I am reminded of a quote from Lysa TerKeurst during a recent Bible study that said “Trust God with the journey as you take each step. You take care of the possible and let Him take care of the impossible.” I have this quote saved on my computer as my screen saver to help me when I struggle with such feelings. Trust God with your journey and He will never abandon you. God has done the impossible by rescuing our orphans from unimaginable situations and placed them in a much safer place. He can do the same for you also.
Here is a prayer you can say to remember our orphans and all those dealing with such problems in their lives:
Compassionate God, draw near to our brothers and sisters in the world in their time of sorrow and anguish, comfort those who mourn, strengthen those who are weary, encourage those in despair, be close to those who feel abandoned and lead us all to fullness of life; through the same Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen
Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”