I'll never forget today.
This morning started out pretty normal, if waking up in India ever could be. This was an errand day for the most part. We’re preparing for a team to arrive tomorrow night that we'll be hosting so we had shopping, reorganizing, laundry, all normal things.
This afternoon we walked down an old back road, through a gate, then another, around some new construction, under scaffolding then into a courtyard with a playground full of children. You might think, well that doesn't sound so bad and it wasn’t. What hit me like a ton of bricks on my chest and made me pray under my breath for strength from God to not burst out in tears and scare the children who were happily playing was, this was not like any playground I'd ever been to. The toys looked the same, the kids looked relatively normal & mostly happy, everything you'd expect to find in a playground, except parents. None of those babies were going home today. No one was coming to pick them up and take them to a sleepover or to get an ice cream. They don't have a place they can call home, where they belong besides that place, because they don't belong to anyone.
A little boy, barely 2 years old if that, walked up to me, a perfect stranger, lifted up his tiny hands for me to hold him and as soon as I did he wrapped his little arms around my neck, laid his head on my shoulder and closed his eyes. All he wanted was to be held and loved. So many other kids of all ages came up to me to be held or wanted to be pushed on the swings. I could barely contain my emotions at first then God reminded me that those babies are safe, fed, he loves them and has a plan for each of their lives. That gave me peace and for the rest of my time there I held, played with and loved them and I can't wait to go back.
This afternoon I had the opportunity to go to a place I didn't know much about. 700 people call this place home. This place is many things, one of them being an orphanage to 65 children. I've learned a lot while being here; I learn more everyday. God has given me the patience, grace, faith, hope and love I've needed to deal with the things I've seen and the people I've encountered. I've fallen completely in love with these people and I'm so thankful to God for bringing me here. Since I've been here there have been things that have tried and tested the list of blessings I mentioned above but none so much as that place.
I'll never forget today.
K – 2017 Long Term Volunteer