Friday, March 23, 2012

I Can Love

I've been thinking a lot lately about what I can and cannot do, specifically as to how it relates to orphans, humanitarian work, changing the world, etc.. No doubt, the Lord has put this passion in my heart, but how am I to use it? Some people can work politics and government in order to do adoption work here in Ghana. Others take money they make working on adoption and use it to build grand homes and schools. Some Americans save up their money to do mission trips, spread the gospel, and do wonderful and worthy activities with children. Some can use their money to do wonderful and long-lasting humanitarian work.

As for me? I can love orphaned and vulnerable children. Yes, from afar, but I'm speaking of when I'm here (or anywhere). I have arms to hug, and lips to kiss on the cheek or forehead. I have an ample chest to cuddle into, and a fluffy lap to sit on. I don't care if a child is dirty or stinky or covered in fungus. I'm not saying that to brag. Maybe that's stupid. I just don't. God made me to love these children. I'm not fit enough to run with them. I'm maybe not young enough anymore to do some other things. But I can love.

Sometimes people wonder what they will DO when they come to spend time with children in Ghana. You don't have to DO anything. Just be available to these children. And not only in the orphanages. There are children all over Ghana that are hungry for the type of cuddly affection that we Americans give. It's sort of odd because I think it's a very huggy culture. Adults are always very friendly and quick to give me a hug hello. At the same time, I'm not sure whether or not it's super common for the adults to really sit and cuddle with kids over about age 5. [Babies are VERY coddled and cuddled, no question.] What I know for sure is that children I meet here—orphaned or not—are hungry for the love I have to give.

Tonight we hung out a bit in front of Kwahu Foster Home. It's a unique place in that it's in the middle of the village and when white people show up MANY kids (and some adults) also show up quickly. Before I knew it a boy of about 9 or 10 years named Williams had attached himself to me. He isn't a child who lives in the home. Not an “orphan.” But here is this big boy—bigger than most boys in America who would publicly cuddle their moms—openly competing for my affections among the other children. At every turn Williams would be there, holding my hand, or with his hand on my shoulder, or just quietly standing at my side.

Before long we started piling into vehicles to go to a restaurant for dinner. Another family that is here was hosting a celebration for all the kids at the foster home—16 kids. My group happened to be the first group to leave for the restaurant. When the first van of kids showed up guess who popped out? Williams. =-) Turns out, several of the neighborhood kids (and even some moms from the neighborhood) decided to just hop in the vans for a free meal! I just reviewed my photos from the day and Williams is in a good percentage of them—this child who is not an orphan and who supposedly has no real “need.” Obviously, he does have a real need.

I guess my point is, just be open to be used wherever the Lord will use you. I have no great skill. I am not very fit, or very young, or very thin. I mostly just sit on a chair when I am here and wait for the children to come to me. But they do, come to me. I can love. And the Lord can use even that very small skill to make a very big difference in the life of a child.


DB 11:11 PM  

Exactly right!!! LOVE makes a big difference!!