In Uganda, while at Welcome Home, I had some of the most heart rending experiences. I have never before felt so heartbroken, torn, and helpless. There we were, thrilled to have our children with us. Studying them, trying to memorize every detail about them. They were desperately wanting us to give all our attention and snuggles to only them. How could I focus on them alone, when we were surrounding with tiny little children longing to be held, to be loved on. The heartbreaking cry of children calling out “mommy” to me, with arms outstretched was more than I could bear. I wanted to hold them all. Tell them that I loved them. Tell them it was going to be all right. One little girl in particular has been burned into my mind. Her name is Amanda. This sweet precious baby, would wrap her legs around me as tight as she could, clinging to me. She would cry and scream if I tried to put her down. I didn’t want to put her down. I didn’t want to walk out of there and leave 50+ other children with out families. I wanted to make sure all of them had a real mommy and daddy they could cling to. I wanted them all to know a mommy and daddy loved them beyond anything they could ever imagine. I couldn’t do any of that. All I could do, was peel a crying child off my body, place her on the ground, and with tears in my eyes, walk away. I prayed that day that this child would have a family soon. That there would be arms to hold her all day. Arms that would not have to put her down, and walk away in tears. I found out last week that prayer has been answered. She has a mommy and daddy working diligently to come and wrap their arms around her and never let go. Thank you Jesus for giving this child a family.
There are 143+ million children around this world that want a mommy and daddy to hold them. They cry alone, with no one to kiss their wounds. No one to cook their meals. No one to keep them safe. No one to take them to the doctor when they are sick. No one to encourage them. No one to laugh at their silliness. No one to help them succeed in school. No one to teach them to work. No one to teach them to about the goodness and greatness of God. They have no one to teach them what it means to be a part of a family. One day, some of these children, if they even survive to adulthood, will have families of their own. How will they parent children, when they themselves have never known the love and protection of a mother and father?
God has a perfect plan for these children. That plan is His Church. Oh, how I pray He ignites a fire within us for true religion. That these children might have what they so desperately need.