I was prepared for the empty rooms with nothing but crib after crib lining the walls. I was prepared for many babies and not many adults. I was prepared for a “playroom” with one mat, one tv, no toys, and 20 kids. I was prepared for kids wearing clothes that don’t fit. All of these things I have read and seen in books, it was not much of a surprise to see it in real life. But, there was one thing they do not teach you in books, one thing I was not prepared for, one thing that brought tears to my eyes.
As I was walking through the courtyard, a young boy, about 5 years old, was blowing bubbles. I knelt down intending to ask him if I could try, but before I could ask he offered me his wand to try. The first bubble didn’t work so well, he laughed and gave it to me to try again. I blew a nice big bubble and he smiled, laughed and said “very good”. He was so excited by me blowing a bubble, he had a look of pure joy on his face. This child only had one thing that was his own, his bubbles, and he wanted to share them with me. I saw God today!
All of us went to the “playroom”. Josef began picking up children and throwing them in the air. Sarah and I were standing next to him, and the kids began lining up in front of us so that we could too. They were so happy to just be picked up and held high in the air. Sarah and I sat on the floor, each with a child on our lap and one braiding our hair. There were a few others around us fascinated with our watches and earrings. They were happy and laughing and saying konjo (cute/pretty/beautiful) to us. They have nothing, not even the clothes on their backs are theirs, yet they have more joy, love, kindness, and compassion than I have ever seen. I saw God today.
I said before we came here that I thought that we would learn a lot more than we would teach. Being in this orphanage has reminded me that God is enough. If we have God in our heart, we can find joy and peace in any circumstance.