Another great day! We visited the orphanage for handicapped children in Kherson, Ukraine and had an amazing time. It’s always a bit overwhelming to see, no matter how many times you’ve been. The thing that’s always amazing, however, is the joy that those children have upon seeing us.
One teenaged boy we met last year named Sasha, who is missing parts of his hands and feet from birth, peaked his head into the gym where we held our assembly, and then immediately darted back out into the hall. In a matter of minutes he came bounding back into the room wearing his full soccer uniform, field shoes included!
Julie Rogers from our group shared a message of hope with the children, telling them that God loves them exactly as they are, and wants them to know that they can depend on him for their lives and their future.
We then spent plenty of time painting faces, twirling wheels chairs around, and taking pictures with them. Again, the joy in the room was really something special. One teenaged girl in a wheelchair was having a heart painted on her forearm and would burst out laughing with every brushstroke because it tickled so much!
Some of the older boys (on crutches and all) and Will, Brian, Caleb, Logan, and me from our group headed out to the field to play soccer. Let’s just say that the kids played against us like they really, really wanted to win.
And win they did.
The injustice of the way these children are treated, not only when they are young but into adulthood as well, is immense…
But we made a dent in it today.
We drove a stake in the ground, we drew a line in the sand, and we pushed the darkness back.
We went into a place where loveis like a far away galaxy–fathomed but not experienced firsthand– and we brought it as close as an embrace.
We went somewhere children are treated as different than the rest of society because they have a physical handicap, and we showed them that they are special indeed, because they are made in the image of God and he loves them exactly as they are.
We served these beautiful children with dignity and love because that is what they deserve.
I can’t tell you how proud I am of our team and how happy I am to be a part of this work. Thank you again for your support and your continued prayer. We have another busy day tomorrow!
I hope to have some thoughts from other members of our group posted here over the next few days, so please check back!