To that end, I knew that for the rest of her life, we would be inexorably tied to the country of Kyrgyzstan. I feel some sort of responsibility for others there because I know Ellie could have been one of the ones who was still there. Oh how different our wee girl's life would have been. Better? Worse? Who am I to say if growing up in the love of her biological family would have been better or worse. I don't know the answer to that. All I know is that God wanted this little girl to have a family and not be an orphan and chose us to be that family. How blessed we are by His gift of her to our family!
Each year on her birthday I try to think of a way to give back. This year, I wasn't quite sure what to do. As I wrote John Wright, there are so many needs there, how does one decide which one is the right need? So I prayed about it and left it up to God to make it known to me where the need was that we would try to help with.
And lead He did. [Seems God is never shy about leading us, eh?]
A few days after I wrote John, he posted an article on his blog entitled, "Overwhelmed". [I can relate this week.] When I read it, I knew that this was where the need was that we would try to help with. There is another article about the group working there [Lamb International] at this link.
The story in a nutshell is that there are SERIOUS NEEDS at this facility for disabled men. Over 250 men live there. Recently, there was an outbreak of lice; there is only one sheet per person with no washing machine at the facility; cups that are rusting with lead showing; a few rusty spoons; not enough bowls for each person to eat and on and on. You can read the full details at either link above. This photo was what moved me almost to tears.
This is the rusted cups these men are drinking from. Where is the dignity, the basic things needed to sustain their hope? This has bothered me ever since I saw the photo and read the stories.
Knowing that I couldn't take on all their issues, I felt led to address cups, bowls and utensils. He replied that the spoons are about $1 each, and the tin bowls are about about $2 each. I am guessing that the cups are probably about $2 each as well. So for $5, a person would have a bowl, cup and spoon.
To try to help with that need in any way we can, we will have a place that anyone who wants to donate can at Ellie's party. If you are not able to attend her birthday party and want to donate, you can make a Paypal donation online or at John Wright's website. He is currently IN Kyrgyzstan, but he will know where to direct the funds in order to get these men some cups, bowls and spoons. If you donate via Paypal, put some sort of notation that it is for utensils for the disabled men's home, or Ellie's birthday, or something in the subject line so John will know where to apply the funds. He and I have already talked about this.
Take the time, look at this video John shared with me of the men from this home. See if you heart isn't touched by this. I know the images I saw here will stay with me a long time. It's hard to walk away when you see their faces -- their lives. See if you can help be "Jesus" to these people. $5 = basic utensils to eat.
Matthew 25:30: And the King will say, "I will tell you the truth, what you did for the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me."