Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Psalm 62:8 (NIV)
The sky was gloomy and overcast and matched our moods as today was full of transitions at the Malnutrition Center. Problems with drainage and plumbing will require a trench to be dug in the floor of the Canary Room (Bed Babies). While we Americans helped to move cribs, supplies, clothes and babies, we wanted to question why things couldn’t be done differently. Why do they have to dig up the floor? Why can’t they go a different direction or drill the trench under the floor? But, we tried to keep silent and not rock the boat anymore than it was already rocking. The cribs and babies were all moved to the room where the older children ate their lunch and where the television is located. Because that room is smaller, some of the babies who were ready to promote to the next level were also moved and that had a domino effect pushing other children up to the next level as well. As a result of the transition, naptime was almost nonexistent as the children who missed their caregivers and rooms cried and kept the rest of the children awake. Several lay down on the floor and kicked their heels and beat their heads in frustration. It was hard to see them suffer so, but impossible to make them understand everything would be okay. A new child arrived today, Santos. He was accompanied by his mother, grandmother and aunt who left weeping with sorrow. There are some times in life and particularly on the mission field, when the sorrow just overtakes you and like the toddlers, you want to lie down on the floor and kick and scream Why do things have to be this way? Why do things have to be so hard? Why do children have to suffer? It is odd how it happens, I will just be working away and I will see something that hits me so hard it is as if I ran into a brick wall. It is all I can do to keep from breaking down in tears. Today, it was with a little boy called Billy. All week, Billy has been in his crib because he had a rash and could not be around the other children. I have not had any interaction with him because of that and frankly ignored him because there are too many other children demanding my attention. Today, I was going down the row of cribs changing diapers after what was supposed to be the afternoon naptime and got to Billy’s crib so I just went ahead and changed his diaper, too. As I did, I saw one little tear slip from his eye. It broke my heart, and I asked if I could pick him up and carry him around the room while the other children were out playing. I was told okay so held him and rocked him and took him to the window to look outside. While holding him, it is obvious he has some physical problems, possibly autism, maybe mild retardation, but the entire time I was with him, he smiled and laughed. No more tears. I held him until time to leave and was so overcome with emotion, I could not speak for quite a while. How can he be so isolated and alone and yet be so content? Thankfully, I serve a God who can take all those hard questions. Sometimes, He doesn’t give me the answers I want, but always, He holds me while I cry. I can depend on the fact that He loves me and does what is best for me, even when it is hard. And you can too. We just have to trust and hold on to His promises. An incident with Christian today illustrated that fact. Because so many children had been moved around, there were not enough cups of milk at morning snack time. We did not realize that Christian was overlooked until he started to cry. He was surrounded by other children drinking their milk, but he had none. The worker for his room, Dora, said to him in Spanish, “It is okay, I will be right back with your milk.” Immediately, he stopped crying and patiently waited until she returned. He trusted her to do what she said she would do. And we can trust God to do the same. In spite of all the chaos and upheaval, we still had many sweet moments with the children. Today, I taught the lesson on Queen Esther and how each of us is a prince or princess because our Heavenly Father is the King. They wore the crowns that we made in craft class proudly. This evening, our group went out for supper and enjoyed a time of celebration. We can have joy in the midst of our sorrow because our Father, the King, is still in control and will take care of our troubles in His timing.