Monday, November 12, 2012

Visiting orphans: Christmas in November

One of my highlights of this trip so far has been the opportunity to visit the orphans in The Bridge Christian Children's Home and bring them Christmas packages from their sponsors.

For a moment, I thought about having them save their gifts until Christmas Day. Then I tossed that idea out the window because I selfishly wanted to be here to witness their joy.

Ericlee and I handed out the gifts on Saturday. The kids sat down nicely at the table and waited. But I wasn't fooled. I knew they were bursting with excitement just like I was. Then they started tearing into the gifts.

Wilken called to Ronaldo to check out his new shirt. Judelene showed off her hair bows. Fridnot hid his envelope under the table and opened it privately with a smile that turned up the corners of his mouth. Estisonn's eyes grew wide when he spotted the shiny soccer ball.

The biggest surprise and blessing for us to witness was that more than the clothes and dolls and art supplies these kids were enthralled by the pictures. They grinned and giggled, sharing the photos of their sponsors. They passed them around again and again, examining clothes and expressions, asking us questions. They pointed and kissed the faces in the photos.

They truly cared about the people behind those gifts. The greatest gift of all - family!

Today we visited the new orphanage building in St. Raphael (pictured below). We squeezed hugs out of the kids and shared their excitement for their new home, which should be finished early in the new year.

I tend to take the verse in James 1:27 literally that pure religion is visiting orphans, loving on the least of these. I am reminded that even in this God has a blessing for me to experience.

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