Sometimes it’s too easy to lose sight of the big picture. It’s easy to get distracted by the losses or the hard things, and when I do that it eclipses the beauty and the positive, both of which I truly long to see.
A couple of days ago, God reminded me to look at the big picture again. In one day, Shelley’s grandmother graciously brought her back for me to see, and Sibajene’s father came with his new wife and son to claim him. Two reminders that we’re on the right track, that good is being done, that even when you can’t save all of them, you can help make life better for one. Or in today’s case, two.
Shelley stays quite far away now, but her family always makes an effort to bring her back regularly to see us, to show us how much she’s grown, and to thank us for the love we poured into her granddaughter while she couldn’t manage. Shelley is always happy when she comes, and she truly seems well adjusted and well cared for by her grandie.
Sibajene has been with us for two years, and his father has now remarried after the loss of Sibajene’s mother. Many of our children actually have living fathers, but when the mother dies, there is no one to keep the child during the day and feed the child. The babies end up being severely malnourished, and so The Haven is a place where the baby can receive nutrition and love until the father, or in most children’s case an aunt, grandmother, older sibling, etc., can take care of them properly. It is always our goal to reunite our babies with someone from their family if at all possible.
Sibajene leaving creates a hole in his house where his sweet, gentle, playful spirit was. As he was leaving, I prayed with his father and new mother and brother. By the end of our prayer, the father was weeping in thanks to God for His provision for Sibajene. It is incredible to watch how God can use this place and this ministry to stir people’s hearts and point them to God. I’m not sure about Sibajene’s father’s relationship with God, but I know that today he was aware that God is love as he looked at his son, and all the aunties who loved him during his first two years.
It’s impossible when working with infants and toddlers to have intense Bible study or to ensure that they understand the Bible stories you are trying to teach them. But God is great and He works for us, planting seeds in the hearts of our children and their families in ways we could not. It’s not what we can do while they are with us, but what He is doing in them that really matters.
|Sibajene, 3 months|
|Sibajene, 11 months|
|Sibajene and his family|