The number of orphaned children is the world is overwhelming. When you hear the numbers and consider the enormity of it all, it just seems to be an impossible task to make even the least little bit of difference.
When I first visited the orphanage where Jonathan lived, I thought that I would never, ever be able to walk away and leave behind the children that we were NOT adopting.... and trust me, -- it was not an easy thing to do. I was SO excited to be making a difference to this ONE, and yet heart broken for the other many that are still there in between those walls.
Once back in America, Shelley and I started talking about the institution itself. (I've mentioned Shelley here before. She has adopted one son from this orphanage, and very soon will be going back to bring home a precious little girl.) I had been so impressed with the way Jonathan was taken care of... he was always neat and clean, and so were the other children. He rode the bus to the next largest village to go to school. And, as I've mentioned here before, 2 years ago, he had had a surgery on his leg to help correct the results of his Cerebral Palsy. The director obviously did a really good job of meeting the kids' basic needs.
On our first visit, Dan and I asked the director what the biggest need for the orphanage was at that time. We were planning to take back a gift to donate to the home as a thank-you for the care that they'd given Jonathan. Her answer actually surprised us. She said, "Paint!" For several years, it had been obvious that there were basic maintainance needs of the building itself, but she said that the money in the budget just never stretched far enough. She was using the budgeted money for all the right things.... for the children. However, if the building crumbles around the heads of the children, then obviously it directly affects their lives! Dan and I did take back a financial gift that would help with paint. But, Shelley already had a bigger plan in the works, and we told the director that "more was in the making!"
In about 7 weeks, Shelley will visit this orphanage again. She will be there for the very thrilling task of walking away with her sweet little daughter!! Between now and then, we are getting the word out about the way that we'd like to impact more children than the ones we've been able to adopt.... We'd like to raise enough money to leave the ones left behind with a refurbished play room downstairs, an activity room upstairs, and new flooring in at least 4 bedrooms.
Would you like to join us? Shelley has just posted the plans on her blog--- complete with pictures and videos of the things that need to be done. Go HERE to see it, and read about several ways that you might could participate in the fund-raiser. If you'd simply like to help by cash or a check, let me know, and I'll give you details! I'm so excited to see how BIG this is going to be. The goal is set for $2500, but I'm praying for even bigger and better ways to stretch the blessing!!