Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Why Eastern Europe???

I know for many of you my decision to go to Ukraine seemed to come out of nowhere. The truth is, I have been praying about an opportunity to go to Eastern Europe for several years now and today I would like to share with you a little more about why the orphans there are so heavily on my heart. As you all know, I am in love with Africa. I love the people, the culture, the beauty and if that was all it came down to I could easily picture myself spending the rest of my life in a country like Uganda. My heart is for orphans, you know that too, and there are many orphans in Africa (approximately 50 million) however the African culture by and large values its children. There are countless orphanages across the continent founded by local people or others from around the world who love these children and are doing their best to provide a good home for them. Yes, there will always be children who are still in need and even the best orphanage cannot take the place of a loving family but, for the most part, orphans in Africa are at least receiving adequate care.

That is not the case for orphaned and abandoned children in Eastern Europe who are placed in institutions run by governments who have little to no value for their lives, their wellbeing or their futures. The majority of these children, at best, live out their lives as objects of shame and scorn or, in the worst cases, spend their days tied to their cribs until their spirits cannot hold on any longer. My heart breaks for the children who have no experience of love, no one to hold them when they cry, children who do not know the comfort of a gentle touch.

Last week I was reading the blog of a woman who recently adopted two precious little girls from Ukraine. As an adoptive mother, she got a firsthand look at the conditions her daughters were living in and wrote a very candid post about the children she left behind. As I read what she wrote I felt an even stronger conviction rising up in me that this is where God is sending me. I am praying that God would give me a unique opportunity to love on kids just like the ones she shared about, to work in rooms just like “that room”.

I would like to encourage you to read her post by clicking here. I should warn you that you may very well wish you hadn’t. It will likely cause you great pain however, as much as it hurts, I don’t believe that we are simply called to turn a blind eye to the sorrows of the world…


"Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do.
God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act."
Proverbs 24:12

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