Like a rose amongst thorns he sits; beautiful and precious, it’s difficult to imagine why he is left and heart wrenching to know that he is unwanted. Yes, he has a home and food to eat most of the time, but even in the best of them, life in an orphanage is not easy.
These kids have stories that would break your heart. Some were abandoned at birth and left to die by the riverside. Others were beaten or burned and an overwhelming majority have been abused. One can only imagine the things that go on in an orphanage where all of these young, hurting and broken souls are together and supervision is limited…
A volunteer in one of the orphanages was sharing a magazine with the children and one of the young girls ran to get her magazine to share as well. The magazine she brought back was not appropriate for her to have, yet she didn’t seem as if she understood that it wasn’t something she should be looking at. From time to time orphans will become pregnant. With no positive and healthy examples of husband and wife many of them act out what they know and inappropriate behavior amongst orphans occur. This is often an issue when boys are sharing beds as they are in one of the homes here. This is just one of many issues that these children may face. In one of the orphanages they went without food for two weeks and had only Coke to serve the children. Orphans are picked on and outcast in the public school. Most of them will never know the comfort of a mother or the safety of a fathers arms. Think about that for a moment.
There is a brokenness here that is in many ways indescribable.
He is memorable to all of us and several of us would adopt him in a heartbeat. He is such a beautiful child. When pizza was delivered to the orphanage on Saturday he stood back while all of the other children took their pieces and even shoved pieces into their pockets, making sure that everyone got to have a piece. As the crowd died down he made his way to take a slice and after just one bite noticed that one of the younger boys didn’t get a piece and without hesitation gave him his slice of pizza.
In the midst of brokenness there is beauty here; there are lives, there are souls. We talked in the bus today about how when a child in the orphanages dies it is only the volunteers who grieve the loss… and I can barely manage to think about all of the beauty here that will never be seen.
I know that there is brokenness all over the world and even in my own neighborhood. It just happens to be that at this moment we feel a burden for these children here in Ecuador. If you would like to find out about what you can do to help or about joining the next trip please contact me or visit www.dandoamor.com. Current needs include $5.00 donations to purchase a pillow, pillowcase and lice shampoo for a child. And $200 donations to purchase 10 bunk beds in an orphanage where boys are sleeping two to a bed. For every four donations of $50 a bed could be purchased and for every eight $25 donations a bed could be purchased. Every dollar counts.