The following morning, we meet for prayer time and fellowship. The realization of how God had given us an opportunity to be involved with an orphanage was beginning to sink in. We had engaged in fairly lengthy discussions on efficiency. Also, I made it quite clear that we are all working as servants for Jesus Christ. He is the leader of our organization. I found it amazing how quickly God gave us a chance to see if we would be people of our word. Anything that we do, should be done in a way to bring Him the most honor and glory. Not only that, we would be working with Jesus directly. Matthew 25:40 NKJV: And the king will answer and say to them, Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to the least of my brethren , you did it to me. Jesus is referring to himself as the King that returns for judgment. This is a very serious consideration to have when God gives us the opportunity to help.
Many times in my life, I have just “walked by,” so to speak, but that is no longer an option. God is watching closely to see how we handle opportunities He puts before us. The sad reality is that we are oblivious to many opportunities. We should constantly be alert and attentive to the Master’s hand moving in and around our lives. The first meeting that we had together involved a bit of discovery for everyone. If there was any doubt in anyone’s mind about the sincerity of timeliness, it was now erased by the way we conducted our meeting. By our third meeting, everyone was present on time. I am sure the first meeting that we had caused people to question the direction things were going to go. God still intervened with an opportunity to help out in an orphanage. Would we rise to the challenge?
In the meeting the previous day, we talked about how becoming more efficient would give us more opportunities to serve the Lord. I believe God was testing us to see if we would carry out our word. Collectively, we felt excited that we would have this chance to serve God more, and so quickly. That afternoon, we traveled to the orphanage. It was in complete shambles, and needing a lot of attention. Most of the electrical system was not operational. The overhanging on the buildings was 2 feet short, causing large amounts of rain water to enter the building. The rooms were filthy, and cluttered with many things. There were 18 individuals currently staying there. They all slept on the floor. Just a few days prior to this, we picked up new mattresses for the servant’s quarters where Heidi and I would call home while in Africa.
My former self would have thought, “that is too bad,” and probably would not have done anything about it. There is no way that can happen now. The Holy Spirit clearly reminds me of what I must do. There are many special needs individuals in this group. Some cannot walk, while others have developmental issues, and most lack proper clothing, shoes and food. Everywhere we turn, we are faced with great need and countless opportunities. Only by God’s power and might can we even begin to scratch the surface. That afternoon, we decided to go to the orphanage. We knew that they had needs for food, so Tony went to collect some items like grain, cooking oil, various other supplies, and even four live chickens.
After we unloaded all the items, they proceeded to demonstrate some of the skills of the orphans: ABC’s, counting, months of the year, and a few songs for good measure. We were also escorted through the facility to see the dilapidated structures. Collectively, we decided to try to rehabilitate one of the wings. I believe there are six rooms that will be involved in our first phase of repair. Our goal would be to begin with fixing the electrical needs so we would have proper lighting to clean and paint the interior rooms. There were several cars in the outdoor area that are paying a small amount of rent to be stored there. We talked with the people, and asked if it be possible to have them moved. Once that was complete, we would build some walls that would retain any runoff water from entering the building. Prior to the completion of the walls, we would add two feet of overhang to redirect the water. Upon completion, we would clean and paint the interior and exterior.
When you see the conditions that these people live in, it is impossible to call yourself a born-again believer without taking action. The day we were there, it was around 55 degrees, and raining. Children were shivering without coats, and many with no shoes, and most were hungry. There were children with tank top shirts, both arms stuck inside nestled against their body, trying to conserve body heat as much as possible. Even so, these starving, poverty-stricken children still loved to interact with us. They would crowd around you so tightly that it was hard to move. I took a picture of Heidi and all I could see was part of her face. The rest of the picture was adorable children soaking up the love of Jesus flowing through her.
There is a picture of a young girl not more than five years old. Snugly wrapped around her, is a baby, possibly a sibling. You would be shocked how many times we saw this. Very very young children had babies strapped to them. There was also a 16 year old girl that had polio. Her legs were deformed outwards from the knee down. She could only crawl around on her knees, yet she would still clean the floors and help out as much as she could. When you are in the presence of these children, it is hard to leave them. After coming up with a plan, we left the area and were shocked by what we had just experienced.
We will proceed cautiously with the repairs. God is ultimately the one who would decide how much we do. I was reminded that God wanted us to work with people that were willing to put forth effort. Seeing that this facility was extremely dirty and cluttered did give me some concern. Keeping things in orderly fashion takes almost no money, just time. If they kept up with the maintenance we had started, we would continue with further repairs, unless God directs me differently. This opportunity is one of obedience. I did not need to seek God to see if were supposed to help. His word already tells us that we are, so I trust His word as truth. Psalms 82;3 NKJV: Defend the poor and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy; free them from the hand of the wicked.