Do you remember this girl? The little girl without a name. For a year now she has broken my heart and occupied my thoughts and prayers. Sometimes I thought it might be easier if I could forget, but I couldn't. And, I didn't really want to. Ignorance is not bliss. Knowledge may be painful, but it makes us responsible.
Today, that responsibility has come full circle. Since my return from Ethiopia last year, I have worked to find out more about this little one and to see if there were avenues for us to be able to help.
The e-mail I've been waiting for was in my in-box this morning. Her name is Chaltu. (I wonder what that means?) She was abandoned and has been in the orphanage for a year and a half. The Dr. believes she is 6. Six. What kind of deprivation or illness would mean that a six-year old was the size of a two-year old? She does have some vision. She doesn't speak, but she does recognize her name now. She can't walk, and indeed, is unable to stand unless someone supports her. She eats, but she doesn't really grow. The biggest improvement that they have seen since her arrival at the orphanage is that she is able to cry now if she needs something. They don't think that anything can be done medically for her, and if it can, it can't in Ethiopia.
But, in the midst of such a bleak picture, there is good news. She wants love. She craves attention. And, God has not forgotten. A year ago, He made sure that of all of the children there, she was the one that caught my eye and my heart. He has ensured that I cannot forget.
I can't tell you all of the details now, because they're still being worked out, but Chaltu will be loved. God has not provided the ability or leading for us to adopt her, but we are working with the orphanage director to make a plan to provide her with one-on-one care and affection, someone that will love her and tell her how much her Heavenly Father loves her. Not bragging. We're not good, we're not out doing great things. But, God is good, and we are grateful to be humble tools that He sees fit to use from time to time as He works out His plans.
There is a favorite song of mine that I have given up being able to sing without tears since last April. Everytime I have tried to sing the chorus, I can't. I can't, because I can't get past memories of the orphanage and praying that all of those little kids would have someone who would know their name and their thoughts and would be able to tell them and show them just how much their Heavenly Father loves them.
The chorus says: He knows my name. He knows my every thought. He sees each tear that falls and hears me when I call.
Chaltu, He knows your name. He knows your thoughts. He sees your tears, and He does hear. And, He has not forgotten. Help is on the way.
May God cause us to never be too comfortable in our 1st world lives and to not choose blissful ignorance over the opportunity to be instruments in His plans for those who wait for Good News.