Friday, May 16, 2008

Summer farewells

I visited the orphanages for the last time this week. The kids are off to camp soon, and I am off on my own travels.

The orphanage I visit on Wednesdays has felt like a battle zone lately. There were a couple kids who were behaving particularly badly, and after I prayed about it, those kids didn’t come to the lesson for a few weeks. That wasn’t exactly the result I was hoping for. But I continue to pray for them.

This Wednesday, I made a board game to use for the year-end review session, designed after “Chutes and Ladders.” I decorated it with stickers, hoping that the visual presentation would draw the kids’ attention. The kids were fairly cooperative about participating in the lesson, not counting the usual interruptions. I had a few new kids visiting. One, a girl of 10 or 11, played the game with us despite not knowing any English. The other visitor was a 6 yr old whom I first mistook for a boy, but turned out to be a girl with a shaven head (head lice???). She sat and grinned as we finished the lesson.

But I can’t really say that all was well. One of the more disruptive students was misbehaving again. He’s 11 or 12. I was very dismayed (to say the least) when he started making sexual advances toward a 9 yr old girl. It fits with his pattern of behavior, but to see the younger kids involved is heartbreaking. Even more disturbing was that the girl didn’t object. She simply giggled a little bit. There was only one other child in the room at that point. I looked at her and she looked confused and disturbed. She told the counselor that the boy was bothering them, and the boy was dismissed.

This had taken place before the 6 yr old entered the room. But I shudder to think of her becoming a victim, too.

I feel prompted to pray for God to erase these children’s memories. There is a time when reconciliation and forgiveness is needed, and there is a time when it is better to just forget. They are still young enough that maybe it's not too late to leave everything in the past. God can always redeem lives...

(Misha, below, is not the culprit)

(But Katya, below, was an unfortunate witness to Roma's inappropriate behavior)


  1. Such beautiful children. I wish I could have them all! You do have a pleasant room to work in - that's something.

  2. The difficulty is that it's their playroom and I sometimes face competition from the tv and other entertainment!

  3. Thankfully it wasn't Misha. He's a bit unruly, but very sweet. Lola loves him and says he's her best friend in Russia. She was not too keen on Roma at all. Now I know why.

  4. What a blessing you are to these children. Thanks for posting. Enjoy your trip to Africa.


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