Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Joining God in His harvest fields is a joy and an adventure. I am so unworthy of everything that He has allowed me to be a part of. I am thankful for each opportunity, and I pray for more in the year ahead.
There are so many stories that I could share from my recreant experience following God to minister to the orphans and the poor in Romania. As I recall my experiences however, one event in particular stands out vividly in my mind. It is the story of Vasile.
His distant blue eyes stared up at me. He is so young. But, the disappointments and hardships that he has experienced far exceed his three short years. He has been abandoned. He lives with 99 other children in a rundown government placement center in the Northwestern city of Oradea, Romania.
Daily he is taken advantage of by the older children. The walls that he has constructed around his heart are as thick as the concrete walls of the institution itself. Already he is skeptical that anyone could truly love him, or show even the slightest bit of genuine kindness to him. That anyone could give to him without first taking something he values away.
He stands ready to run form anyone whom he feels threatens him, or any of the meager positions that he holds dear. He feels that even the slightest bit of attention shown to him is meant negatively. He fears relationships, yet longs for a forever family.
Calmly, I approached him with a smile. He took one look at me and started to run. He looked back to see if I was chasing him. I stood where I was. I caught sight of him looking back at me, and I hid behind a nearby tree. Seconds later I popped out at him. He gave me a half smile and ran away. I stood there pondering his future as I watched him run, as fast as his little legs would carry him, to the far edge of the orphanage yard.
A short time later I saw him playing alone in the far corner of the yard. Slowly, I came up alongside him. Holding out my hand I asked him to play. He held his toys close and shook his head no. Again, I smiled and motioned for him to bring his two well worn matchbox cars over to me. He turned his back and walked away.
After several minutes he set his cars down. With some apprehension, unsure of how he would respond, I picked one of the cars up and rolled it toward him. A slight smile crossed his face as he rolled it back to me. Ever so slowly, I could see his face begin to soften.
It was not long before I had him fully engaged- rolling cars back and forth, racing them, and yes, even crashing them into each other. As we played I offered him some candy. He willingly took it form me, said he did not like it, and then asked for more.
I could see his attention begin to wander. As he got up to walk away I offered him a piece of mint gum. Without hesitation he took it from me, put it in his mouth, and ran as fast he could to tell the other children what he had. Moments later I was surrounded by children all pulling on me asking for gum.
Because of your partnership, for a short time Vasile was able to come out of his shell, forget all of his troubles and simply be a child. This experience with Vasile was the key that not only unlocked his heart to me, but it opened the door for me to engage other children as I returned several more times to the orphanage.
Vasile's story is just one of many that I could share. He is just one child, but may he stand to remind us of the 1.4 million children around the world who don't have a family, or a home to call their own.
Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! Isaiah 49:15 NIV

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