Today was a hard day.  We visited the orphanage in Belize City and met the director.  She was very kind and gave us a tour of the building.   The tour was very limited and we were only allowed to see the kitchen, dining room, playroom and outside grounds.  It is the first time I have visited an orphanage that would not allow us to view the sleeping quarters.  There are approximately 70 children that live there at one time and the number changes daily as children are picked up and brought in or taken back out of the orphanage and given back to their families.  It was disturbing because the children did not appear happy.......the older children were at school when we visited and most of the younger ones were either crying or lifeless.  Have you ever felt that you could not get out of a place fast enough?  That is how I felt........and then ashamed that I wanted to leave.  I did not want to face the trial and sadness and yet......we have to face that when God calls us to care for the orphans and to defend the defenseless.  It is not an easy road.....in the words of Mother Teresa, "I have come to realize more and more that the greatest disease and the greatest suffereing is to be unwanted, unloved, uncared for, to be shunned by everybody, to be just nobody (to no one).

To experience this type of sadness is hard to describe...........

We left the orphanage....planning to have a team to assists them with their needs in the future......furniture covering, baby supplies, school supplies, etc......for now.....we can pray for them.
As we left and visited the villages on the way to Belmopan, the expressions of the children changed drastically.  We were not allowed to take photos of the children at the orphanage, and the pictures would have looked drastically different than the girls smiling on this page.  The school children at the blue school were playing, laughing, waiting for a photo to be taken of them with a huge smile.....and walking home to a family that loved them at lunchtime.....whatever that family looked like.
That is the difference in the mental picture of the children at the orphanage and photos of the village children smiling......family.....to be loved and know that you are loved.......to have hope.  If we can spread the hope of Christ and the love of our heavenly Father to the orphans around the world.........they will have hope and perhaps a smile for a photo.