"Though my mother and father forsake me, the Lord will take me in." -- Psalm 27:10
"The helpless put their trust in you. You are the defender of orphans." --
Thanks to God's generosity and the faithfulness of His people, Asia's Hope has now opened its sixth orphan home in Battambang, Cambodia's second largest city.
Joined by a group from Western Reserve Grace Church, Battambang 6's sponsor, my family and I visited the kids at their new home earlier this week. My heart aches for these kids: they're scared and confused. All of this is very new for them.
Within the past week, they've gotten a new home, new siblings and new parents. Most of them have never had new clothes, and haven't had a proper shower or nutritious meal for months, if not years.
All of them have suffered the traumatic loss of one or both parents to injury, disease, murder or abandonment. Most of them have been mistreated or neglected by the extended family who subsequently took them in.
Their suffering has been intense. Unfortunately, it has not been exceptional. Each of the hundreds of children in our care have a similar story. And each of those kids came in weary and wary.
It's amazing, though. It doesn't take long for the kids to perk up, to crack a smile. Sure, it will take lots of love, lots of grace and lots of love to heal the deep emotional wounds that afflict these little ones, but the change starts almost immediately.
It starts when a child realizes that the meals aren't going to run out, and when it's clear that even if they mess up they're not going to be beaten or abandoned. It starts when a ten year old little girl realizes that she no longer has to be her 5 year old brother's primary caregiver.
It starts when a little boy gets his first good night's sleep, wakes up in the morning and realizes that it hasn't all been a dream.
It grows every time a child is shown love -- a bike to ride, a toy to keep, a glimpse of dad locking the gate at night and mom pressing the back of her hand against a forehead to see if the fever has broken.
Soon, the photos from BB6 will look like the photos from all of our other orphan homes. The kids will be laughing, playing and singing.
Not yet, but soon.
Pray for these kids, pray for their parents, and pray that Asia's Hope will be able to provide loving homes and bright futures for more and more children in Southeast Asia.