Real Value

The last few days here in India have been full, replete with many experiences, sights, sounds, and of course the savory tastes of Indian cuisine! But that’s not why we are here. The reasons we are here are less obvious, often tucked away off the side of the road, or at the end of a five-hour drive, or 5,000 feet up a windy mountain road. It is in these places that our purpose and meaning become clear, materializing in the form of little faces peering out of windows or from behind trees, waiting eagerly yet curiously for our visit.

It is children that our work is focused on, for whom we labor, and for whom we hope and pray the best. It is children, who God created and so dearly loves, that we aim to help, befriend, and assist in their journey to becoming and being all that God created for them. It is for children, who have such great value in His sight, that we endure the long train rides, the dusty and bumpy roads, the short nights, the unsettled stomach, and the days away from our own families and homes.

You see, these kids have value. Real value. More than the value ascribed to a costly gem or a luxury car. Unlike those things, children are living beings, created in the image of God, for His purposes and ultimately, for His glory. Each one is unique, like a snowflake, possessing one-of-a-kind qualities and characteristics that set them apart from every other. Each one is here not by accident, but as a masterpiece of the Creator.

And yet, these kids have suffered. Some immensely. Take Alan and Milan for example. These brothers, ages 5 and 6, have experienced anything but a normal childhood. Their dad, not long ago, tried to murder their mom by tying a rope around her neck and hanging her from the ceiling. After failing in this attempt, he proceeded to go to the pre-school where his sons were, with evil intentions of killing them. Having been rescued from this hellish environment, Alan and Milan lived for a time with an aunt and uncle, under a tarp alongside a runway, in sheer poverty. I can’t relate. I doubt you can, either. But what we can say with certainty is that Alan and Milan have suffered extensively.

It is kids like Alan and Milan that we are focused on helping. It is because of the generosity of some of you readers that Alan and Milan now live in a Christian orphanage. They have a new mom and dad. They have a bunch of brothers (and two sisters!). They have stability, structure, and safety – possibly for the first time in their lives. They eat good food three times per day. They go to school and are encouraged to apply themselves to their studies. They hear about a God who loves them, accepts them, and will be a loving Father to them who will never, ever do anything to hurt them. Alan and Milan are told the twin truths that they have value and purpose in life.

Ever wonder why you participate in orphan ministry? If it really makes a difference? The next time those thoughts cross your mind, think about Alan and Milan. Think about what their life was like, and what it is now. The bridge over that causeway is people like you – people who are willing to give, to pray, to befriend, to reach out, to care, to help, to love. It’s people like you who give the Alan and Milan’s of our world a 2nd chance to become and be all that God ordained.

As I look out the window of the train on this balmy February afternoon, innumerable palm trees, tile-covered homes, and the occasional river sweeping by, I find myself glad to be engaged in something of value. I just wanted to pass along these thoughts to you, to encourage you. Keep it up!