"And if you SPEND YOURSELVES on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness and your night will become like the noonday."

"The Lord will continually guide you. He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail."- Isaiah 58:10-11

Friday, April 4, 2008

The Orphans

These children are so beautiful and precious! We are getting to know most of them by name. We have spent the last two days interviewing them and learning more about their pasts. Their stories are heart rending. Most, after losing both parents, have moved to several different homes before being brought here to Oasis. I will tell you about Stephen Ledama. He is/was not yet living at the orphanage. He was one of the 23 that were to move in when the second half of the orphanage was finished. After his parents died he moved in with his grandparents. They feel as if he is a burden. He is not fed very much at home and often comes to school having had no dinner or breakfast. The orphanage staff have been feeding him before he goes home after school so he has some nutrition. More disturbing than that is that he is being mistreated at home. He is being beaten and forced to carry very heavy cartons of water long distances. He is being forced to care for the cattle by himself – he is 5 years old. Whenever the orphanage gives him something – like new shoes – they are taken from him. As Jill and I interviewed him and heard about his situation from Peter, one of the incredible caretakers here, we first shed tears and prayed for him, and we determined that he should move in immediately. We decided that he would not go home that very day. We asked Peter the best way to inform the grandparents that he would not be coming home. Peter told us that would not be necessary – they wouldn’t care if he did not come home. We found this a little hard to believe. However, we had brought a blow up pool mattress to use as a bed so we inflated that and put it on the floor – now there are 43 living at the orphanage. I am sorry to say that is has been two days now that he has stayed at Oasis and we haven’t even heard a word from the family… Stephen is doing great! He used to come in in the mornings to school very sad – depressed. The night we told him he wouldn’t be going home anymore, he was so happy – running aound, playing freely – like a huge burden had been lifted from his shoulders. He’s been that way ever since.


Tiffany said...

I can only imagine how difficult it must be to leave these children behind. I would want to bring them all home with me. Your story brought tears to Sara and I. We pray for you guys everyday and we'll add this little guy as he begins his new life.


Daniel Manahan said...

We,re glad to hear little Stephen is free of those extra burdens and running happily! Caleb, Andrew says "hi"-and he "hopes to see you soon". He can't believe people don't have toilets. Love you all, Dan Manahans

Aria said...

i'm so excited for all of you guys! i've been praying my heart out for you and i'm so blessed to know what's going on with you and know everything that God's doing through you all. keep it up. its beautiful, awesome! :D i love you and miss you so much! hugs and kisses for the kiddies! :)