Spring break is over for most people. And while some people may have taken their kids to some amazing vacation getaway or perhaps a staycation which both sound lovely, Caleb went to stay with his grandparents in San Angelo. If you’ve never heard of San Angelo, I’ll let your imagination run wild. I love this town but others beg to differ.
Anyways, with having a newborn and still trying to figure out our lives A.B. (after-baby) as much as I wanted to hang out with Caleb I knew we’d be no fun. Plus it’s hard to say no to my parents.
My parents are missionaries and travel to Mexico what seems like every other week to work at a local church and orphanage. They’ve been doing this as long as I can remember. Growing up it was hard for me to understand their dedication. As an adult it frustrated me when things would be pushed to the back burner for missions. As kids of course we had to go with them to work. But once we grew up and had the option, we definitely opted out. Missions was not my calling. After all, I enjoyed my air conditioning and running water toilets. As shallow as that may sound.
My parents always encouraged us to go with them during their larger outreaches throughout the year but I never found the time or to be honest, I just never wanted to. But this spring break, Caleb went with them for 3 days to Mexico. And let me just add that they go to a border town in Mexico. And border towns are not exactly safe right now so naturally I had my reservations.
When Caleb came back, I loved hearing his stories of what they did while at the orphanage. How he helped my dad with construction and cleaning. How they did arts & crafts with the kids and helped prepare the meals for everyone. But when he began to tell me about the stories of the children he met, my heart broke.
Caleb began to tell me of a 5 year old boy that he met named Jonathan. Jonathan and his 4 brothers and sisters were abandoned by their parents. For quite some time they were left in their home to take care of themselves. Jonathan being the oldest had to feed and change his siblings. Then one evening the broiler caught fire and Jonathan had to gather all of his brothers and sisters and take them out of the house to safety. When people from the orphanage arrived, the children were filthy and had soiled diapers as they had ran out of their diaper supply, they were eating spoiled food because they had been left alone for so long the food began to rot.
I couldn’t believe what Caleb was telling me. I tried to convince him that the 5 year old must have been the youngest child. That there was no way he was changing diapers and carrying his 1 year old brother/sister out of the burning home. I called my mom and she confirmed his story. When I hung up the phone with my mom, I cried. My heart breaks for Jonathan, his brothers and sisters. My heart breaks for all of the children in this world that have been abandoned, abused, broken hearted, left to fend for themselves.
I held onto my babies for just a little bit longer this evening. Grateful that God has trusted us with their lives. But I also thanked God because He is a good, good father. There are so many children out there in this world with similar stories, abandoned by their parents. My prayer is that they would one day realize that God has never left them, never abandoned them, He loves them & cares for them. They are precious in His sight. They are righteous, sons and daughters of the Most High.
I encourage you to say a prayer tonight for orphanages all over the world tonight. Say a prayer not only for the children that are there but also for the workers and volunteers of the orphanages. Say a prayer for the children that are at home by themselves because their parents have neglected them. And hug your babies a little longer tonight.