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Archive for the ‘orphans’ Category

One thing I love about American Christians is their love of adoption. Many have pursued adoption with the same overcoming, sacrificial spirit as those who settled the West.

I love adoption. It’s such a God-combo of mercy and justice.

But what if one isn’t adopted? When can an orphan become adult enough to no longer be an orphan? I don’t know.

But here in Ukraine, it’s tough for orphans when they finish high school. They have to leave the orphanage. The stats are grim of what happens to them–prostitution, crime,prison, drugs & alcohol, suicide … (We had an orphan grad in our rehab center for a bit, too, but he wasn’t ready yet; I hope he returns.) I think what I’m saying is that an orphan who’s finished high school, even “of age” is still an orphan.

Legally, orphans in Ukraine are provided free education by the government. They can go to live in government school dormitories during these years.

Great, huh?

A week or two ago, I stumbled upon this lady’s blog where she describes actually visiting one of these dormitories:

We then drove to go see the trade school dormitories in a different section of town.  I had heard of the conditions of the dorms and had imagined what they were like, but truly nothing could have prepared me for what we saw.

As impoverished as many areas in Ukraine are, we went to what could only be called a ‘ghetto within a ghetto’….an area where the buildings looked uninhabited and uninhabitable.

… Denis parked the car and told us we would go in quickly and quietly…we weren’t to talk, just follow him quickly. ”

… When we entered the building I took one breath and automatically started breathing through my mouth in shallow breaths.  The stench of urine, trash, and who knows what else was nauseating.

I honestly can’t use words to describe the hell hole we walked through, and the pictures … don’t tell all, but I can’t imagine anyone living in these conditions, and especially not a 15 or 16 year old, and especially not a girl without  protection and especially not an orphan without family….and especially not any of the kids I met, some of whom will live here, and some of whom will die here.

Dear God, Your mercies are new every morning, Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. You are the God of orphans. … Pray for us, Holy Spirit, because we don’t know what to ask. But we long to see Your redemptive acts on the earth for orphans.

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I was reminded of this song tonight, and it’s given me insight into how God would want me to act in this situation (helping some orphans). (This song makes me cry.)

I translated the words below for my English readers. It’s based mainly on Matthew 25:31-46.

And I want to explain, for my readers who don’t yet know the Gospel, that this song and the portions of the Bible being quoted, are not saying that we do good works in order to enter heaven. There is no way any kopyeka of a good work we do would be worthy of God’s standards of goodness. Only Jesus Christ’s goodness is worthy of God’s acceptance.

What is being said is this: When I (or you) have trusted in Christ alone for salvation goodness, then we live as Christ’s followers: As He served on the earth, so we serve—He serves through us. …. So I repeat: Our good works have nothing to do with earning our righteous standing before God. They are the outworking of being righteous already because we stand in Christ. (If that is confusing, please ask me about it.)

Now, how did this song help me decide what to do about these orphans? I will continue to pursue helping them, and if God has someone else to provide for them, He will easily bring that about. If we are His answer, then, praise You, Lord, too, for that.

Звезды потускнеют,
Небо свернется рулоном,
Силы сильных ослабеют –
И все предстанут пред Его престолом.

И Он взойдет как Солнце Правды,
Засияет над землею,
К кому-то станет Он лицом и даст награду,
А к кому-то станет Он спиною…

И тогда они заплачут горько,
И слезы побегут рекою –
Почему, Господь, Ты не со мною,
Почему стоишь ко мне спиною?

И Он ответит: – А ну-ка вспомни,
Когда в двери Я твои стучался…
Помнишь, ты стоял ко Мне спиною,
Хоть и знал, что Я в тебе нуждался.

Ты воскликнешь в стенаньи горьком:
– Покажи, когда ты в дверь стучался,
Скажи, когда Ты, Бог, во мне нуждался,
Но оказался я тогда холодным?

– Я был ребенком, просящим хлеба,
Я был избитым и стонал от боли,
Но мимо ты прошел, смотря на небо,
Посыпая мои раны солью.

Но те, кому Я раздаю награды,
Услышав плачь, пришли на помощь,
Исцеленью моему были рады,
Ожидая, что и Я их вспомню.

И войдут они в познанье Бога,
И в одно большое наслажденье,
А другие не заплатят своего долга,
Хоть и вечно будут жить в мученьях.

Звезды мира потускнеют,
Небо свернется рулоном,
Силы сильных ослабеют –
И все предстанут пред Его престолом.

И Он взойдет как Солнце Правды,
Засияет над землею,
К кому-то станет Он лицом и даст награду,
А к кому-то станет Он спиною.

The stars are fading, The skies roll back The strong become weak—And all appear before His throne.

 

And He rises, like the Sun of Righteousness, Shining over the earth; To some, He faces and gives rewards, But to others, He turns His back …

 

And then they weep bitterly, And rivers of tears flow—Why, Lord, are you not with me? Why do you turn Your back on me?

And He answers—Come, let’s remember, When I stood at your door and knocked…Remember, you turned your back on me, Why, you even knew that I was in need of you.

You exclaim with bitter groaning: Show me, when You knocked at my door, Tell me, when You, God, needed me, But I was indifferent.

 

–I was a child, asking bread, I was beat up, moaning in pain, But you walked by me, looking at the sky, Putting salt in my wounds.

 

But to those to whom I’m giving rewards, They heard My cry, and came to help, They rejoiced at my healing, Expecting that I would remember them.

And they will come into the knowledge of God, And into great pleasure, But the others will pay their debt, Even eternally living in torture.

Earth’s stars are fading, The skies roll back, The strong become weak, And all stand before His throne.

And He rises like the Sun of Righteousness, Shining over the earth; To some, He faces and gives rewards, But to others, He turns His back …

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even when it doesn’t involve me? when it doens’t involve me being a sacrificial heroine?

There are two older orphans who need a place to live, a transition place into independent life. A friend let me know of the need.

I wake up today with them on my mind, their sweet names in my thoughts and prayers.

We talked about taking them. I’ve mentally gone over and over the documents and details, the time frame of our trip to the U.S., other options available that we know about.

I’m ready to stop life to “save” them. To move heaven and earth. My maternal instincts are up, I’m ready to have 5 kids. …

But there is a check in my spirit. And I know myself too well to act on these impulses, noble as they are. They are good, but still how filled with my own glory and energy. God has to clean me out.

To know that living for His kingdom doesn’t mean I contribute something great—it means the Kingdom is the only great thing worth living for. That my life doesn’t give honor to God’s Kingdom–His Kingdom is the only honorable thing going that I can join in on.

I was praying tonight, asking God to make me clear and pure, single, united to him, and out spilled the words:

that I could give up the orphan idea as easily as I could do it. That only Your will be my will.

Can I be so filled with His Spirit, that I am content with His will alone, especially when it’s the setting aside of my sacrificial and “great” plans to save someone?

This is one Christ-like humility I accept.

To pray the will of God for these orphans, when it doesn’t involve *my* glory.

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