Sunday, August 28, 2011


Today as we were driving home from church, I saw a dead animal on the side of the road.  It was really an awful sight, and I watched as the people in the convertible ahead of us turned their heads as if it wasn't there.  I shifted my eyes to avoid seeing all the details myself.  Car after car did the same thing.  If we look away, we can get the image out of our minds.  We can forget it.  We can go on almost uninterrupted with our happy plans.

Have you noticed that we tend to do this whenever there's a reality that we simply do not want to acknowledge?

Here's another reality.  This one involves human lives, and I want to share some pictures that I want to you face.  As you look at each photo, please ask yourself if you would ever want your own child to be in this situation.  (I have been given permission from New Horizons for Children to share these photos with you.)

How many pairs of shoes have you ever worn that were in this condition? This is what is provided to kids in one of the orphanages in Ukraine. 

Imagine these being your child's feet.

Here is a common bathing area. They heat water from the hanging hot water heater for use anywhere in the building. But, they fill this bathtub under it once a week and all the kids take turns to come bathe. The green bucket is used to pour water over the kids while sitting.  

Will you please for just one moment imagine sending your child into this room with other children to be bathed once each week?

Here is a ceiling inside a foster home in Latvia. Note the black mold growing on the walls. Since there are concrete walls in most homes, the plumbing was added later in this home and comes into the house by a single pipe and then goes to a couple of areas for indoor running water in this home.

Can you imagine your child living in this foster home?

Here is a typical interior staircase.  You can "see" it but oh, how you don't ever want to "smell" it!

Imagine your own child alone in this staircase.

This is a very nice bedroom in a typical orphanage. These beds were just replaced and they were all so proud of them! But, the smell! No plastic sheets for the beds means they wear out and become unsanitary very quickly!

Take a moment to simply close your eyes and imagine seeing your child sleeping in one of these beds tonight.

Really...did you stop and truly honestly picture YOUR CHILD in these photos?  Is that too far fetched or too hard to even begin to ponder?  Does it make you too sick to even consider?

This is REALITY for millions of orphans.  

And it has been found that once a family steps forward to adopt one of these children, they lock into that reality.  They really look at those beds and think, " child is over there sleeping in that room that stinks so badly.  I wonder if his sheets are clean.  I wonder if he's crying alone in that bed right now."  They see the picture of the shoes and wonder, "Is my child wearing shoes like that right now?"  They see the bathing facility and cringe with the reality that, "My child has to face that room every week!"  

And something inside just propels them to fall on their knees and pray for their child...not a simple, "Please bless Billy" prayer...but a wrestling-on-my-knees-in-anguish-and-tears prayer.  Something compels them to go through a tremendous hassle of adoption paperwork, doctor appointments, fund raisers, headaches, weary travel and abandonment of all comfort zones...all for the single purpose of getting to their child as quickly as possible.  WHY??

Because that child is one of them.  It's not just "someone somewhere" who needs help.  It's a member of their own family.  And suddenly that makes all the difference in the world.  Suddenly those photos of beds and shoes and mold become personal.  And almost all of us would move mountains to help our own family.

These needs MUST become personal to us in some way, whether we adopt or host or give financially or pray fervently for one child until they are adopted.  These photos need to sink in at the heart level...not to depress us and leave us unable to breathe...but to PROPEL us forward, to COMPEL us for the sake of love.

This needs to become reality in our minds and hearts and lives.  Why?  Why should we even give up our time and energy and money and focus to someone on the other side of town or the other side of the world?  Why would we bother when their situation has nothing at all to do with us??

Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.  Hebrews 13:3 9 (ESV)

Why do we avoid reality, when we are called to enter into it?  God has called us.  Do we need any other reason? 

I close with a Casting Crowns' song.  And OH how I pray that we GET THIS!

But if we are the Body
Why aren't His arms reaching
Why aren't His hands healing
Why aren't His words teaching
And if we are the Body
Why aren't His feet going
Why is His love not showing them there is a way

Jesus paid much too high a price
For us to pick and choose who should come
And we are the Body of Christ 


  1. Please order K.P. Yohannan's newest book No Longer a Slumdog which tells of the plight of children in Southeast Asia.

  2. I just recently heard about that book. I will plan to get it. We love and support K.P. Yohannan and GFA.