I had a memory pop up on my facebook. It is one that I will never forget. There are moments in life that shape us. I could never explain how many of the moments that have shaped me have come from the strength I have found in children. But these aren’t just any children. This particular night I learned things from young girls who were orphaned. They do not have parents to guide them. They have each other and they have God. What I learned is that sometimes God is more visible, easier to hear, and closer to us when the most basic things in life are missing. It makes you cling closer to Him because He is your strength. He was their strength. I had the privilege to look into what one night of their life was like. I caught a glimpse into their hearts and it was beautiful and selfless.
April 14, 2015
I spent the night in an orphanage. I slept in a bottom bunk bed in a room filled with girls and three bunk beds lining the walls, some with two girls per bunk. 10 girls lined the floor so that we could sit up and talk through the night. I asked them what their dreams are for their future. EVERY SINGLE one of them had a dream! And EVERY SINGLE one of them tied that dream into helping others in their future. Oh my, how we can all learn from these precious girls! You can see we talked until they couldn’t hold their eyes open anymore. I experienced one night in an orphanage that some of these girls have lived in almost their entire lives. The sounds in the night in a black room filled with children breathing and mumbling in their sleep, the early dawn of a rooster crow and children in other rooms starting to stir and talk, music starting to play in another room, the smell of the bathroom filling the room each time the door is opened because they don’t have running water. I woke to a wall right beside me with a picture taped to it of a sponsor family that gives a young girl hope each morning she opens her eyes because she knows someone in the world cares for her. I watched them each dig through their cubby of clothes while pulling things from under the bed to dress themselves. They fixed each other’s hair and ate bread and tea for breakfast. We then all walked almost two miles to church where I watched them all worship God and sing from the purest hearts I’ve ever seen….thanking Him for all their blessings. There are no words. These girls teach me how to love. James 1:27 #ordinaryhero
*Fun fact: I brought my daughter home to our family one year and 4 months after this picture was taken. She is the one sleeping in the middle with the red sweater. She left the orphanage and came home to us in August of 2016 when she was 13 years old. I am forever grateful to have had this night to reflect on and know just a little bit of what her life was like in the orphanage when so much has changed for her now….even if it was only for one night.
*Many of these girls have aged out of the orphanage now and are trying to make a life on their own either in college or a trade school or a job. We started an age-out program in Ordinary Hero to support young people such as these who age out of orphanages but are not quite ready to take on the world and need a hand up during their transition time into adulthood. Many of these sweet girls still live together today. They share expenses and still support one another as the only family they have ever known. If you are interested in supporting a child that has aged out please visit our site to learn more. Fill free to contact me at Kelly@ordinaryhero.org if you would like information on a specific child.