Friday, March 16, 2007

Two Sides

I was going to post about something else, but this needs attention....

Side #1: This week I visited a few different orphanages as usual. I already posted about one orphanage, and today I visited another. Everything was fine. As I approached the orphanage, some of my students passed me, jump-roping down the street. They joyfully greeted me and promised to return soon for English. Their counselor said that they were going to the post office.

They returned later with a package, sent all the way from America! The kids gathered around it excitedly. It had taken a month and a half to get there and was filled with Valentine's gifts for the whole group. The American family had lovingly chosen the gifts and had included a handmade card. I don't know the family, but how could a care package be anything but a gesture of love?

Meanwhile, their other English teacher came in. She said she had seen a tv show about foreign adoption that featured the non-profit organization where I volunteer. Uh oh. One of the boys in the room had been interviewed. Apparently they asked him on national tv if he wanted to be adopted by his American host family, and he had said "Yes!" with enthusiasm. He beamed as the teacher recalled this. Minutes earlier he had been proudly showing off his English, talking away and asking me for extra assignments. He's looking forward to joining his new family for good.

Side #2

I got home this evening at 11:30 pm and there was an email waiting for me. It described the tv program, which was apparently entitled "Mother America" and portrayed adoption of Russian children by Americans as corrupt. There have been other complaints here and there about Russian children going off to America and "never returning;" about evangelical "indoctrination" in summer camps, and so on.

Someone took an orphan's joy at finding a family and used it to slander an organization that is only trying to help. Someone doesn't want God's work to continue.

Yes, adoption scams happen, unfortunately. But the media is wrong this time.

We're not sure yet how this is going to affect future ministry. I don't intend to stop doing what I'm doing. Please pray for us.

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