Saturday, December 20, 2008

When Orphans Cry

Today I played football with a boy that has HIV.  He spends a lot of time in the hospital but today he laughed, ran - we had a great time tackling, kicking, throwing the football - it was a joyful time.  I wonder what will become of him in the future.

Last night we asked questions of a missionary who works with orphans.  One of the questions we asked was how well churches accept her to come tell the stories of these orphans.  Her response saddened me.  She said it is actually hard to get into churches - many will not let her come tell the stories of these orphans.  One church told her, "No one in this church is interested in orphans.  You cannot come."

What have we become when we are not interested in the things that God is interested in?

Of course we have the well known James passage regarding orphans but throughout all of Scripture we see that God cares for orphans.

When God rescued his people from Egypt and gave them the second set of stone tablets with the ten commandments written on them he tells his people who he is and what he requires of them...

"...but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul...

...He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing."  Deut. 10:12-18

In Deut. 14:29 his people are commanded to feed the fatherless.

And in Ezekiel 22 God declares the abominations of his people.  In verse 7 the abomination listed is, "...the fatherless and widow are wronged in you."

Dear God, help us to love those you care for those you care for.

 We found out that there is another program on Monday that Karina is singing in so today she had to practice for several hours.  Sheila and I are so thankful that God has allowed us to see and hear her sing these last few times in Ukraine.  It is good to be here with our daughter and catch a small glimpse of what life has been like for her here.  During our time at the orphanage over the past week and a half we have seen her happy, laughing, frustrated, embarrassed, upset and express a few other emotions.  We have been here to see this and we have been able to enjoy the happy times, correct her when needed, encourage her, help her, comfort her, hold her and give her hope.  We thank God for this time with her.


 Today several orphans are sitting alone in their playroom.  They watch a movie more fit for adults than children but no parent was there to guard them.  Others lay on the couch with nothing to do.

What happens when there is no family to give direction and protection?  Who is there to say, “This is not good for you?”  Who is there to spend time with them?  Who is there to raise them in the way of the Lord?

The kids on the floor are engrossed in the movie.  The kids on the couch look bored.


Today a child laughed and smiled at the orphanage and there was no mom or dad to enjoy the smile and no parent to hear the laughter.  It was a sweet smile and it was a wonderful laugh.

What happens when there is no family to see their smiles and hear their laughter year after year after year?  Do the teenagers living on the streets because they have “graduated” from the orphanages or the ones keeping warm in the sewers continue to smile and laugh?

 Several days ago a little girl and yesterday a little boy were beat up in the orphanage and there was no father and no mother to protect them.  She has a black eye.  He is holding his ribs in pain.

 What happens when the children are beat up in the orphanage?  Who is there to protect them?  Who is there to hold them when they are hurt?  Who is there to bandage their wounds?  Who is there to teach them how to protect themselves?

Who is there to shelter them?

The girl with the black eye hides her face.  The boy lies on the floor.


Today a little girl was crying in the orphanage and there was no mother and no father to comfort her.

What happens when the orphans cry?  Who is there to hold them?  Who is there to help them?  Who is there to find out what is wrong and lend a listening ear?  Who is there to make things better?  Who is there to wipe away the tears?

She wiped her own tears and buried her face in her own hands.

A little while later she began singing to herself.  Her voice was sweet and beautiful but there is no mom and dad to hear her voice.

What happens when an orphan cries year after year after year...alone?

“Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.”  Psalm 68:5

Even if no one else is with them...God knows when orphans cry.


  1. I just can't possibly imagine what y'all are experiencing while you are over there. Your blog posts are a blessing to us all, and through your words, God is touching our hearts about the needs around the world. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Yes, unfortunately with all the "proseperity" preaching in American, on how God wants to bless us for our own comfort we some how think we have "earned" our blessings instead of realizing that we are blessed so we can bless others. We were never meant to hold onto these "things" for ourselves. So we fight for what makes us comfortable, thinking that if we are 'spiritual' it will show in our social status!
    Thanks again for posting so openly your heart, and God's, for orphans! God Bless!

  3. God knows. Even before we knew we would be adopting from Ukraine, I prayed for our children, that they would be surrounded with God's love and someone to tell them about Him. And I pray that for the other children who need Him, too...and that He will set these lonely little ones in families.

    I cried as I read this and will likely continue to cry for the children as we go along this journey. We ask God what He wants us to do for them in addition to adopting three or so, and we know that He will show us; for now, we pray and pray.

  4. Thank you very much for posting this. I would love to read this in my Sunday School class. I am so emotional right now that I can barely type. I do thank you and people need to see the truth.