Wednesday, February 18, 2015

these ones: they matter

In October I began going to the large orphanage here in town.  It is an institution orphanage and is partly government funded.  A few years ago, Mali closed all adoptions and because of this, this orphanage is bursting at the seems with children.

My first time going to the orphanage I was taken from room to room to visit all the children and nannies. Room after room I was met with cribs full of babies and only one or two women to care for them. Although my heart broke that there were so many little ones here and not with their families [where ever they are] I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of this orphanage.

Then the last room we visited, of course it was the last one, was the room that houses the children with disabilities. It only took seconds for me to!!!!!!!!  

From then on I started going weekly to hang out with these little special needs lovies. Oh you guys! They are so darn precious. 

But their realities break my heart. These children have been abandoned by their families [I'm sure for many reasons] and placed in an institution. I am thankful that this orphanage does take in these children - because of this fact these children are alive! However, due to cultural beliefs, lack of resources & training, and not knowing Jesus' heart, these children are mostly ignored. They spend most of their days laying in their crib. Minimal interaction. No snuggles. 

Oh Jesus.

For me though, I have resolved in my heart that these ones, they MATTER! They matter to Jesus and they matter to me. I love them. He loves them. They might not be perfect in words standards but they are just that - Perfect! 

Last week after meal time was finished the nannies and I took the kids from the meal room back to their cribs.  One of the little girls and I have formed a bit of a bond and on that morning she did NOT want me to put her down. As soon as I put her on the mattress she began to wail. I had never heard her cry this loudly and it torn me to pieces. I quickly finished my task and ran back to the room. As soon as she saw me walk into the room she held out her arms to me! I thought I might burst into tears. 

I scooped her up and snuggled her close! She immediately stopped crying and rested so peacefully in my arms. Held tight, loved deeply. She felt it. I cried.

As I stood in the middle of the room, swaying side to side with her in my arms, I looked around the room to the other little loves lying in their cribs. All I could think was - I wish my arms were big enough to hold each and everyone of them. Mine aren't but I know someone whose arms are the perfect size... Jesus.

I started praying out loud over the kiddos. Pouring my heart out to the Father on behalf of these beautiful little ones. They all stopped what they were doing and watched me. When I would make eye contact with them they would smile. I prayed. They received. It was beautiful. 

I want to share with you some pictures of these cuties :-) Please, please, please pray for them!!!
The name of the child and gender is below their picture :-)

Wa - girl

Do - girl
Naba - girl
Ma - girl 
Nana - girl

Oumou - girl 
Adama - boy

Malik - boy

Kadia - girl 
Alfouseyni - boy

Sogona - girl 

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