Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I don't really know where to begin in describing this weeks visit to the orphanage. I can't really describe it in detail because I need to be careful what I say. We did not massage the babies. We were told that we can no longer do this. I am asking for your prayers that God would reopen this door. It is such a valuable and important thing for babies. I am praying that my descriptions of my visits were not the cause of this change. I have only said positive things about the orphanage and the workers so I am sure that is not the case. I just can't help but wonder.

This week they brought us a few handicapped children. It was so difficult. We were not mentally prepared to handle this but we said a quick prayer and God directed us. Fortunately, the mommy that I was with is a physical therapist so she knew right what to do and walked me through helping each child. It was so difficult emotionally...and physically. I can't really get into details just pray for these sweet children. Our hearts were breaking as we held them.

We were both nearly in tears by the time we left. We said quick goodbyes and gave hugs to all our little friends. We are not sure if we will be able to see them again in the future. We are going to go again next week and hopefully we will be able to make progress and find favor with the director. Please pray that her heart is changed and she sees that we are doing good. My heart is just breaking for these little miracles and for you waiting families. Again, we just ask for your prayers that when we return next week we will be able to love on those little babies again.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I'm back!

First of sorry that I have been gone for a couple of weeks. I didn't make it to the orphanage last week because I was sick on Monday and didn't want to risk getting any of the little ones sick.

But, I did get to go yesterday. It was a bit of a roller coast experience this week. We were all heart broken to see a new little guy in the big baby room. I would guess him to be about 12-16 months old. It is so hard to tell. He was so stiff. He would hardly move. His fist was clenched so tightly that his little arm muscles were flexed. He is so beautiful though. His skin is so rich and creamy looking. One of the moms who I go with is a physical therapist so she worked with him just about the entire hour we were allowed to be in the room. By the time she was done with him, he was smiling and bending his legs. What a precious little smile he has. All of our hearts were just breaking. He has been at the orphanage for just about a week. I can't even to begin to imagine what is going through his little mind.

On a happier note...the little guy I taught how to high-five a couple of weeks ago totally remembered! It was so fun. He crawled up to me and reached out his hand. And even more fun, he was wearing a shirt that one of the ladies with me donated to the orphanage. Her sons are both from there and so she passed along some of their things. How incredible to think that this little Reebok shirt was worn by a little boy adopted and now in a home and he passed it on to another little boy in the same orphanage. What a privilege for this mommy to see that circle of love. It nearly brought tears to her eyes.

There is also a beautiful little girl there who looks exactly like my dear friend Ariel in San Diego. I was able to hold her and give her a massage this week. I love telling her that she looks just like Aunti Ari. She just smiles.

We had an incredible Orphan Sunday service at church on November 7. We had a panel discussion on the current orphan situation in Rwanda. The panel was made up of members of our church who are involved with orphans and at risk kids in Kigali in various ways. There is one gentleman who moved here from California with his wife (she is Rwandan) and they started a safe home of sorts for street kids. They now own 2 homes and have 20 children whom they care for. The children keep their names and attend school. It is incredible.

Rwanda has 1 million children in vulnerable situations. It is estimated that 13% of Rwandan homes are headed by children. In the US we think of an orphan as a child who is without a mother and a father. In Africa, a child is considered to be an orphan if 1 parent is deceased. If both parents are deceased, they are considered a double orphan. It is estimated that there are 200,00 double orphans in Rwanda. The country has about 30-35 registered orphanages. There are about 4,000 children in those orphanages around the country. That means that the others are either being cared for by extended family, in non-registered orphanages or homes, leading their own household, or on the street. Our church is currently praying about how we can be involved in the solution to this problem. There are many adoptive families in our church and there is a true heart for orphans. We are praying for guidance and an opportunity to be God's hands and feet.

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.' James 1:27

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Sanctuary

There is a small group of us here in Kigali doing BSF together. If you don't know what that is, it is Bible Study Fellowship. It is a Bible study that is done by thousands of people all over the world at the same time. We all started at the same time and are doing the same lessons each week together. It is a pretty cool feeling to know that my mom is studying the same thing as me on the other side of the world. This year's focus is the book of Isaiah. We talked this week about the sovereignty of God.

What is it that makes God sovereign? He is in control. He is all knowing. He is just. We serve a sovereign risen Lord. How do you see God? As a sanctuary, a cornerstone, a father, a friend? As I think back over the past several years, I have to say that He has been a sanctuary in my life. We went through years of trying to get pregnant, to dealing with infertility, to a 2 year adoption process and now a lack of adoption process in Rwanda. Through all of this, God has been a sanctuary...a God of hope. Without that, I don't know that I could have made it through those rough times.

Our study asked the question, which image does your life communicate to others? I hope that I am portraying Him as a sanctuary to all of you who are waiting for your little miracles. He is your sanctuary. Rest your hope and trust in Him.

I did visit the orphanage today. What a blessing those little ones are to my heart. I was able to work with a sweet little boy with the most precious face. He was so happy. He loved being massaged and just laid on his back and smiled at me with his mouth wide open. When I was done with his massage, I just held him close to me and he nearly fell asleep before he was taken back to the baby room. He was so peaceful.

Another of the little guys is so much fun. Just full of life and spunk. I was playing with him while waiting for the little babies to come. I taught him how to give a high-five. He stopped me a couple of times as I walked past his crib. He would reach out and grab my sweater and then hold up his hand. As we were leaving, I reached across several cribs and gave him another high-five. He got a huge smile on his face and kept his hand raised as we walked out the door.

Tuesday is quickly becoming my new favorite day of the week!