Having a good name is so important here but I never knew this little girl's real name, the first time I saw her she was so small we were told not to pick her up. " She has heart disease" they told me, " she is to weak to be held" they warned me. I watched her little blue face squish into defiant cries as she no doubt knew there were plenty of hands there to hold her. We moved from crib to crib checking on the infants and toddlers, as the caregivers and orphanage director filtered into the next room, I made my way back over to the little girls bed, sat on the floor next to it and picked her up and held her. My brain was telling me her heart needed to be elevated to help her heart and lungs oxygenate her blood; my heart was telling me to be wary because I was about to fall in love with this little girl. I was honestly surprised to find her still alive the next time I came to the orphanage, she was at the local hospital were they had sent her for step one of a heart repair surgery, the hospital sent her back to the orphanage after deciding she was too weak to undergo surgery. They thought she would pass away in the night. Through the night I and the other two women that went to the orphanage took shifts sitting with her, holding her, feeding her, clearing her nasal passages to help her get oxygen. I sat with her from 12 am to 4am, more than once my own heart tightened as I felt her stuttering breath and dropping heart rate and thought she would pass away while I held her. After making it through another day, the orphanage decided to send her to another city with a higher quality hospital to attempt the heart surgery there. I found out later that she passed away a couple days before the trip.
I wanted to share this story with you all as a way to remember this little girl's short life, she was only 1 out of the millions of orphans in the world but her life touched mine in a way that I won't ever forget. I also wanted to be honest with everyone about not only the events going on here but how I am doing in them. Orphan care is just a part of what I do here, but these few encounters have left permanent impressions on me. I knew before I left America that one thing I was sacrificing was who I was, who I thought I was. For the sake of the Gospel, because I know I have eternal joy in Jesus, I gave up who I thought I was so that I could become the person God wants me to be here while serving Him. I knew before I left that change would come, that I would be changed. I hope you are embracing the change(s) He is working through in your own life; I hope for this because I know the peace it brings. As my financial supporters, pr*yer partners, family and friends you are essential to this journey He has me on and I want to thank all of you for any way you've contributed to me being here, for contributing to the hours I was able to hold the little girl and live out the Gospel here day to day.
So much else has been taking place here, but for now I just ask that you please be praying for the Orphans, the ones you know and those you don't.