Lacey, Bring Me Hope worker asked me if I would like to bring the kids back to the orphanage last week. I jumped at the chance without really thinking about it fully!
The kids from last week were special because they camp from a foster care system called Eagles Wings - run by an amazing American lady and her family. They take in severely disabled kids and put them in small homes of about 10 kids which means they get more care. Many of them don't even live in the orphanage but in apartments which they have some sort of control over, giving them independence.
So the day came to bring them home. We packed up their things and brought them outside to where the bus was waiting. Picture this, 35 kids plus their volunteers and translators hugging and crying. Noone could deny that much love was found there. It really dawned on me what I had agreed to do...
The worst thing happened when one boy being put on the bus started screaming and bawling crying and shouting out something. I was told he was pleading to not leave. It was heart breaking. Heart shattering.
We eventually had to leave and the bus pulled off with 35 screaming orphans and 4 adults to try comfort and manage them. I was crying as much as they were. Hearing those screams and crying will stay with me forever. It was a nightmare that I couldn't get out of. I had to face it. All i could do was walk around with tissues and wipe their tears away in an attempt to comfort them. It really dawned on me the fact that we CAN'T change their lives. Only our Father can do that and that is why we must lift these precious orphans up to him.
They eventually stopped crying and many of them fell asleep. we got to the main welfare centre where many of them live. They got off with their stuff and walked in. With a quick WO AI NI (I love you) they were off, back to their old lives, without turning back.
My younger boy lives in one of the apartments so we drove their next with the last 20 or so. I sat him on my lap savouring those last few moments with him. I just sang to him.
And they were gone. With just memories of an amazing 5 days at camp.
I'm still unsure who is changed more by this experience - the orphans or us.