LIfe at Canaan on a hot afternoon

Saturday was another hot afternoon at the Canaan Children's Home. I passed out "sweeties" for the children and they were so patient and happy as I passed out the lollipops.

There was a new little boy that had only been there three days. I do not know the story about him yet but he had the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen. His name is Elijah and he wanted to just sit next to me. He could not speak English and an older boy translated for him. He said that he had a sister there also but when the girl came out, she said that she was not his sister and that she thought he belonged to one of the mamas. I'll be interested in finding out his story as I find out the stories of so many of the children.

One little girl was crying and nobody knew why. A group of boys were playing as all little boys do: with guns that they had made out of bamboo. Some girls were playing hopscotch. The smaller toddlers were napping. The older girls were sorting rice. The older boys were working on a storage house. Life was going on all around. With all the smiles and laughter, it is easy to forget where the children come from. As I have learned about their stories, it made me sad for the parents more than for the children on this particular hot afternoon. Why? Because the children are being cared for and while they are certainly sad to be away from family, it must be even harder on a mother to be away from her child. Many of the children here are in orphanages because their family cannot afford to feed them or send them to school. I'm realizing more and more that it is the heart of the family that needs help. Help with training on how to keep a family together, how to work, how to make a difference for the next generation. Many are missing out on their own children's childhood because their love is so great that they want their children to have a better life. They do not have the tools to make it work.

I spent a couple of hours with the girls and we had our usual "girl talk". They promised to write scripture cards during the next week and were so happy to receive some things they had requested.........razor blades for shaving and .......what all teenage girls want.....nailpolish!

It was so sweet to see them helping each other, painting each others nails and laughing and talking. Teenage girls are the same all over the world! They love pink and laughter! Only the older girls were allowed to paint because the younger girls (middle school age) are not allowed to wear polish to school.
Amidst all the laughter and life going on at Canaan, the stories haunt me. They haunt me because each story brings sadness. Each story has a chapter of how a mother is separated from a child. Separations due to illness, poverty, death and abuse. Because of this, I'm thankful that each of these particular stories has a chapter of life at Canaan. It is at Canaan where they are learning to be strong in the Lord. It is at Canaan where they will have a chapter in their story about being courageous and learning where Hope resides.
“It is only when you exercise your right to choose that you can also exercise your right to change.”

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1: 9