In January, my friends Rebecca and Isaac wrote a post on the orphans’ Christmas, full of great pictures and descriptions. For several months the administrative section of our blog was down, and we were unable to post any new content. Now our wonderful webmaster has fixed the problem (thanks, Roy!). At long last, here is the Christmas post. Take it away, Rebecca and Isaac!
Many of us are familiar with a round jolly man, who wears a red suit and brings gifts to children around the world on Christmas Eve. He does this while traveling in his sleigh that is carried by nine reindeer no less! While this is a whimsical thought, and can be helpful for parents to use as an incentive for their misbehaving children, the story of the origins of this beloved character is worth remembering.
Nicholas was a man who lived in Turkey around 300 A.D., who was orphaned at an early age and left with a large inheritance. To many peoples’ dismay, Nicholas did not keep the money for himself, but rather used it to give gifts to those in need. Why would anyone do that? Because of the love of Christ; knowing the sacrifice that Jesus made, and how He has called us to do the same.
This Christmas at the orphanage was quite lively. While none of us dressed up in red suits, each child was given much needed gifts and attention.
The day began with one of our regular volunteers reading the story of the birth of Jesus in the local language. This was a wonderful opportunity for the children and their caregivers to hear in their own language about why we celebrate Christmas and why we give gifts. None of us had ever seen the children sit so still and quietly before; that was definitely a miracle.
We were also blessed this year to have enough volunteers come so that each child had one-on-one cuddle time and help opening their gifts.
In the gaily wrapped packages were socks, shoes, jackets, clothes, learning toys and stuffed animals. This was all because you and local brothers and sisters gave generously from their hearts.
All of the children were so excited that they began putting on their new things right away. I dare say that some children were more excited about their new shoes than the toys!
Paper was flying, ribbon twirling, giggles ringing, smiles flashing, and tummies filling with candy and other treats.
For some of the children the flurry of gifts left them worn out and drifting off to sleep while being lovingly held.
This was a wonderful celebration and while we were so grateful for all that everyone gave, it was for one day. I long for a time when every Christmas, no, every day, these precious little ones will have a forever family to call their own.
Let us together “learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow” just as it says in Isaiah 1:17.
Joy here again. I hope you enjoyed hearing about the orphans’ special day as much as I did. By the way, for those of you who love the orphans as we do, stay tuned for the first in what we hope to be a series of biographical videos on children who are waiting to be adopted. This has been something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and now someone has come along with the skills to do it! I hope to have the post up in the near future. We’re so excited for you to get to know these sweet children better, and are praying that God will use these videos to “place the lonely into homes.”