From Joe Knittig, Philippines
Many of you wonder where the kids come from. Here is an example that occurred while we were in the Philippines.
This pic is of a grandpa (left), uncle (right), and one of our local partner’s orphan care workers.
Grandpa’s daughter just died, leaving 4 young children. (Her husband died some time ago.) Grandpa and uncle are so far beyond their capacity to care for their own family burdens that they cannot absorb the 4 children. If they tried, the kids wouldn’t be fed and they’d be home, in the slums, alone all the time while these men tried to find work.
They knew of the orphan ministry. They had a place to turn. They arrived while Mike and I were here. The men had a mix of relief, praise, and extreme sadness. Very hard to process.
Then we were able to sit in on part of the intake process, where an ocare leader met with the kids, grandpa, and uncle to go through the very difficult details.
At one point, the intake person needed to meet just with grandpa. Another momma took the kids for a snack. They just sat there, silent, eating some crackers – staring at the crackers before them. Every once in a while, they’d look up and lock eyes. No words.
I can’t imagine what they were thinking.
This is very tough work. I, too, had mixed emotions. Sadness. Praise. But mostly gratitude to God for our local partners in the trenches. Each of these situations requires risk, and exacts a brutal toll on the heart and mind. Each day, all around the world, our partners pay that toll with no fanfare. They do so out of sacrificial love.
I realize that this process of orphan care isn’t perfect with our partners. Never will be. Doesn’t need to be. It’s rough and risky – and noble, beautiful, and sacrificial. We need to keep faithfully, patiently, and steadfastly walking with our local church partners, encouraging them no matter what. And we shall!
Try to imagine their burden, each day…
To our partners around the world: BLESS YOU. To Jeff Long here in the Philippines, thanks to you and your wonderful staff for the reminder.