Chrysalis of Love
I witnessed today the restorative miracle of love.
Monde and Oliver, our first two orphaned charges, are staying with Hilda and her family in their “poverty” while we prepare them to move to the Children’s Home in a week.
Well, you and I would call it poverty – a basic extended family tree discloses 25 children, 8 adults, 14 orphans, 1 job, 3 widows, 2 deadbeat husbands (See blog). They all stay together in a ramshackle collection of huts in various degrees of entropy. When I came today I brought a bag of corn meal. I commented that Monde seemed grouchy – not responding to my hugs. “She is hungry”, was tossed over Hilda’s shoulder as she grabbed the bag of mealie and headed for her hut to prepare a meal for the children. I wondered when the last meal was – and when the next would have been if I had not happened by with a gift today.
This is their poverty.
While visiting with them, discussing the details of enrolling Oliver in school, they carefully hint about the other children in the family who are going to school (some of you have helped enroll 8 of them) but are not given a bowl of porridge mid-day because they don’t have the 50 cents per term to contribute for the hot meal. So they walk an hour to school each way and spend a day in school with no food – very possibly with nothing for breakfast either!
But hidden under the ragged cloak of poverty lies a treasure some in their mansions have never known. It’s called family.
A family of love has performed a miracle in Monde’s life. 1 month ago, when we first received Monde and Oliver into our care, I took Monde to specialists to evaluate her. She is 4 years old, can’t walk, talk, chew, feed herself or any other thing. She is a baby in every way. I watched them straighten and force her legs to carry the weight of her body for 10 seconds as she complained loudly. They gave the encouraging prognosis – there is nothing wrong with her body – she could walk and do things in time with professional therapy.
Today, 1 month later, I saw Monde walking on her own two feet as she clutched with one hand the hand of “mama” Hilda! 10 or 15 steps! She has learned to drink from a cup, stuff porridge in her mouth (not very well yet), and she has doubled her vocabulary – “mama” and “vou” (a perversion of Lozi “porridge”).
When I was first called to Lizzazi Village to interview this mentally handicapped young woman who could not care for her two children, and I first looked at this broken little girl and the bright, cheerful 10 year old boy, I felt God’s breath as He whispered to me, “Even these can be transformed into beings of great beauty and worth if only they can come into my Chrislis of love for a time. Some things are transformed in the crucible of fire. Some things in the Chrysalis of Love.”
It has been a hard decision for Hilda – did she want to leave this Chrysalis that has made her into such a beautiful creature, to gradually build a new one from a sterile, empty Children’s Home? She will bring 3 of her children with her to more quickly build this community of nurture, love and beauty.
We have a long list of things needed to make the Children’s Home a home indeed. If you are interested in helping with this list – sending things or shipping or providing money – contact us here: firstname.lastname@example.org
We have a wonderful intern (Katie) who is returning to the States for her teaching job in a month – we want another JUST LIKE HER to come for a year or so to invest the riches of the Kingdom into these little ones. If you are interested contact us at email@example.com .
We are also praying for a teacher who will help start a pre-school and a mentoring program. If you could see the number of kids that don’t do any school until 7 years, and then drop out at 13 – it breaks your heart. We are believing for these villages to be full of quality Kingdom centered education.
Regina and I will return to the States soon to be with family and friends, share the vision of Loving the Least and the Lost, and finding partners. If your church or small group of any kind would possibly be interested in partnering with us, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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sending check to:
LOVE’S DOOR 4 ALL NATIONS
C/O SHELBY & SCHROCK ACCOUNTING
1815 SW Baker St.,
McMinnville, OR 97128.