Today, we did four shows in four different orphanages. One was especially for mentally handicapped children, some placed there only because they were so gentle. Children who are not strong and abusive and who yield to other children’s abuse are also labeled as mentally handicapped. Many of the children become more handicapped by the surroundings in which they live. Hundreds of boys welcomed us, helping to carry our equipment, and smiling. They were very happy we came and even happier to hear the story of Jonah, the man who tried to run away from God. Ask the Father to help them understand who He is and how they can know Him.
At another show, the children suffered from a variety of mental illnesses. Two little boys rocked the entire time, stopping only when they heard Anna’s flute music. When we arrived, two ten-year-old boys told us that they had asked God to send us to them. It disturbed all of us that one boy had two black eyes and others had so many health issues. There is a smell unique to orphanages, that is not pleasant, but is always present at every one. The children live in places that you would find uncomfortable to visit. Our hearts brokeÂ not just here, but four times today.
The other two orphanages had "normal" orphans, which means that many have parents who cannot or will not care for them. Alcohol and drug abuse and extreme poverty have placed many of these children in the system. As we left, they called out, "Take us with you’.
All of the Directors and most workers were very happy with the program. It was impossible for them to deny the children’s joy during the program. One Director came to us and expressed her disbelief at how well the children had listened. She had never seen them behave so well and continued to stress how unusual their actions had been.
I told her that we always pray before a program and ask God to help them listen. She stared at me in complete shock. Clearly, she had never considered that possibility.
My favorite response was the gratitude of the children. They hugged us, tried to speak their few English words, laughed with us and thanked us endlessly. Praise God! When I finish with my story, I always give the drawings to someone. At one show, I gave them to a little boy whose smile was my treasure for the day. He thanked me and then tucked them under his arm. He had no left hand.
The authorities would not allow us to pray with the children at these four orphanages. However, we could tell them everything about Jesus, including how to pray. It is so foolish of them to think that they can prevent what God plans for these children. At a couple of the shows, several of us had a strong sense that some children had trusted in Jesus. Their faces reflected His glory and their thank yous were so intense. They had received more than candy, a balloon and a tract.
In the next two days, we will share at a shelter, a church, six orphanages, and train and equip a new team. Please pray.