Last Saturday I turned 37 years old. Yes, I know, I’m officially in my late 30’s now. It was a rather splendid day filled with lots of homemade cards, gifts and hugs from 19 children. I was able to relax a little bit, take all the kids out for pizza, work in our house and then eat some homemade strawberry shortcake (my absolute favorite). Overall it was a wonderful day.
However, there was something unique that occurred that cool brisk Saturday. Actually, it was something rather difficult and heart breaking. There I was setting up Ayantu’s new bed set, in her new room, in our soon to be done new house. One of our boys, Osvaldo, walked in and asked if it was the right time to call his mom. He had been missing her a lot of late and wanted to know when she was coming to visit. Truth be told, she wasn’t. In fact just a few days earlier, she had called Jackie and shared that she left her job and home (which was about 5 minutes away from the orphanage) to go back up to the Sierra Madres.
We contemplated how to break the news to Osvaldo, but that Saturday, he would hear the news himself from his mom. They chit chatted on the phone for a bit before she told him she left and wasn’t sure if she was coming back. The mood in the room clearly changed and so did the roles it seemed. Osvaldo was very concerned about his mom, “Do you have money? Did you find a job? Do you have food?” were some of the questions he was asking her. His mother sort of chuckled and said she wasn’t sure but thought she’d be fine. It was as if Osvaldo was the worried parent, in that moment, looking out for his child (his mother).
They talked for a bit longer and then hung up. Osvaldo came back into the room to hand me the phone. I asked if he was okay. He said, yes, but I knew that wasn’t the case. I put my hand on his shoulder and said, are you sure? And then Osvaldo sort of collapsed in my lap, sobbing on my shoulder. Gosh, these are the moments that make this job, this calling, so difficult. There we sat for 2 or 3 minutes as this young 10 year old boy cried out every last tear. When he was done, he sort of lifted his head. I looked him in the eyes and told him how much we love him, we are here for him, and then I prayed over him. When all was said and done, I asked him if he wanted to go out and play some more, or hangout with Jackie. “I want to be with Jackie” he responded, and then they both left the house.
So yes, my 37th birthday will be memorable, however, not because of the presents or food or activities that took place. But because of that moment holding Osvaldo in my arms.
This job has left me speechless so many times as I often can’t find the words to say to these hurt and broken children. Thankfully, I can meditate on and treasure the words of our Heavenly Father, and the hope that they can bring these kids in their greatest time of need.
When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take care of me (Psalm 27:10).
Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, Yet I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me (Isaiah 49:15-16).
Please pray for Osvaldo this week....