I'm not even sure where to begin as I sit down to write this post. All of us at The Village, our family, O'Tools, our 3 houseparents and 11 other children have had a terrible experience the past 10 days that we never want to deal with again. I know that sounds so harsh, but we live in the harsh reality of a sinful world.
I don't often write about the 'bad' days here, but sometime we feel the need to share about those 'bad' days to help us vent. Brian and I moved to Welkom 6 years ago this month. We boldly said "Yes we will go to South Africa, help start a home for orphaned and abandoned children". Our desire was to see the next generations of South African children have HOPE in the Lord. To have a changed life - physically and spiritually. Wow, we were young and naive, but naive was a benefit to us. If we would of known what we know now, our "Yes" wouldn't have been bold or possibly even been changed into a "No".
When you think briefly about the idea of starting a children's home, it has a nice sound. Nice thoughts run through your mind including giving children a warm home, nice clothes, playing ball, and assuming that every young child would desire a life of those niceties. The images that DON'T come to your mind are children that would rather live a life of freedom, no matter what that means forfeiting. The chance to have 3 meals a day, an education, clothes, a bed to sleep in and houseparents who care for you. But along with that comes rules and obedience. And that is where the struggle happens for some of these kids. Some kids have been left to fend for themselves causing them to steal food. And one thing leads to another and before long they are sniffing glue, smoking weed, and having sex, all before they turn 10 years old. These are children trapped in a child's body who have been trained to think and act like an adult.
Last week, all of us, Louis, Amber, Brian, myself, our 3 houseparents and 11 Village children all struggled with a child that fits the description above. Twelve days ago, we had a 9 year old girl and her 13 year old brother join us because there mother is in jail for shop lifting. The Lord really tested our patiences, our perseverance and helped us love the unlovely. The boy was actually a nice kid when he wanted to be. He even tried to be good for a few days and we really thought he wanted to change. The 9 year old girl never tried, never wanted to be here and never gave us a chance. The days were long for all of us adults and even the children here. We all had to be on our toes to make sure she didn't run away (our electric fence ran 24/7 to keep her in), she punched and pushed the kids here, she cussed and was most likely experiencing withdraw from her glue to sniffing and Daka to smoking. Louie couldn't even paint without her sniffing around. I could go on and on with the behaviors but you get the idea.
On Friday evening both her and the brother left. I feel for the social worker because she appears to have no resources for them and she seems to be a social worker that actually cares. At the same time, we could no longer care for these 2 children here because we were in fear for the other children they were staying with. But it is so unsettling to see children leave in such a terrible manner and to think that at the age of 9 she is beyond lost.
Recently I have ran across this truth from the Bible both in reading and from a friend. We are responsible for the obedience but God is responsible for the outcome. It's not our burden to carry. We said YES. We went when and where He said to go, the outcome of it all is up to Him. He doesn't need me to do fulfill His plan, but He chose to use me for His plan. The Lord commanded us to "care for orphans in distress". This week we 'cared' for her and that was our responsibility. Now our turn is up and we pray for her as she goes down yet another rough path in her life and take comfort in knowing that she rests in the Lord's hands.