Saturday, October 9, 2010

Apathy, numbness... hopelessness

As you know, my desire is to be open, honest and transparent on this blog so, here I go… For the past week or so I’ve been struggling. At first I attributed it to homesickness, cultural frustrations, loneliness, etc. but there’s more to it than just that. I kind of feel like Elijah, after experiencing such a great victory when God broke down the walls and got me inside the orphanage, I soon found myself feeling depressed and ready to throw in the towel. I am so thrilled to finally be spending time inside those four walls but it has not been easy. Compared to countless institutions in this part of the world, the babies’ orphanage is a great place for these kids to be nevertheless, I have seen things there that break my heart, things I cannot talk about on a public blog. Every day I am overwhelmed by the great need I see in that place, 10 special needs kids (plus 2 typical kids) who all need and deserve more love and attention than I can possibly give in a few short hours a day. The highest functioning kids demand my undivided attention and when they don’t get it they resort to aggression, tantrums and at times self-harming behaviours. Others, who should be able to play and interact, have gone so long without adequate stimulation that they’d rather suck their fingers to the point of decay or bang their heads on the side of the crib than play with me. Then there are those who are unable to interact at all yet who still deserve a kind voice and loving touch. These kids need more than I can give. I can love on them for the next few months but then what? At 5-years-old they will be transferred to the special needs orphanage where the higher-functioning kids will end up in pretty good groups while the lower-functioning kids are left in their beds. Then, those who survive the next 15 years will end up in a Soviet-style mental institution where there will “live” out the rest of their days. It feels like such a hopeless situation.

I’m sorry this is such a depressing post but this is where I’m at these days. I’m not giving up. I know that God has brought me here for a reason and that He loves these kids way more than I can even begin to understand. I know that God is Hope for the hopeless, He is Mighty to save but right now I’m just having a hard time feeling it. Praise God that He is who He is, regardless of how I feel.

“Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD; O Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy… I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope… put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.”
(Psalm 130)

1 comment:

Freedom Hollow Farmgirl said...

Andrea~
You are Jesus with skin on to these little people who would otherwise not see Jesus. God will guide you and give you the strength. I will pray for a peaceful heart. I cannot imagine the pain you must feel seeing these precious least of these and the conditions they must endure.

Keep your eyes on the SON. I am sure HE is looking down at you and saying "well done my good and faithful servant."

You are an incredible young woman.

Blessings to you girlfriend.
Suzanne