Posts tagged #orphans

cheaper than leather shoes

She glances at the man out of the corner of her eye and quickly wipes the stray tear inching down her cheek. Her body aches. With a resigned sigh, she crosses her legs and pulls her jacket closer to her skin. What’s underneath would hardly count for clothing, and she silently hopes she won’t be sent to the streets this evening. The man leaning against the wall taking in his surroundings catches her eye and smiles. Her heart sinks and she braces inwardly for him to come over. “How much for a massage from this one?” he asks, pointing at her with a foreign glint in his eye.

The shop owner glances behind him, following the man’s gaze. Looking the girl up and down, he shrugs. “Twenty. Good price. She’s new here…” catching the man’s eye he whispers just out of earshot, “pretty inexperienced.”

The man’s smile stretches in unnatural ways – barely meeting his eyes. She sees the exchange – his hands shaking as he hands the small wad of bills to the owner. Hiding her grimace, she straightens her back and steels herself against the pounding of her heart. Her friend sitting next to her grabs her hand and gives it a squeeze, tracing her palm with her pinky. Their secret message: hold on. rescue is coming. this nightmare will end. hold on.

Closing her eyes, she breathes deep his scent as he walks up to her. She studies his shoes for awhile. Leather. Expensive. A small scratch on the right foot – almost as if he ran into a twig while running. She refuses the realization he probably paid more for his shoes than he did for a short session with her. His hand wrap around her small arm and she winces at the strength. Her pulse becomes erratic and she lifts up a silent prayer, hoping someone is listening. Please let this be a dream. Please let the pain end.

Someone is listening, right?

The man with the scuffed leather shoes walks heavily into a side room and shoves her into the corner. She stumbles, struggling for footing before collapsing on the makeshift bed. His breathing grows ragged and the slow whoosh of a belt slaps against the straps as it comes undone. She focuses on his shoes, strewn carelessly across the room. The pain comes and she fights for breath under his weight, but she’s in another place. There’s mud on his shoes but something catches her eye. There. In the middle of mud – almost buried by grime – a small flower radiates with color.

Life in the middle of death. Beauty in the middle of devastation. Hope in the middle of despair.

A tiny tear slips unnoticed and she feels a sharp pain as the man slaps her – his ring digging into her cheek.

“Stop crying you whore. You want something to cry about? I’ll show you.”

Her heart threatens the protection of her ribcage – with a cry she begins to fight. Kicking. Screaming. Biting. As long as she’s breathing she will hold on to her humanity. Her innocence. She will not let go. The pain inches its way to every part of who she is but every space of life battles for survival. Her tiny fingers wrap themselves in his hair, pulling the strands from his scalp in small clusters. Her little feet beat rhythms against his legs, creating bruises he’ll have to explain away. For a split second, she thinks she may have won. His weight shifts and she watches as he gets up and turns away, rummaging through his pockets. Her eyes widen and her head starts shaking vehemently, pleading for mercy. He grabs her ankles and wrists, tying them with a rope. The fibers cut into her skin and all hope, all life, all beauty shrinks away. She is no match for his brute force, his laughter reveals this is just a game to him.

She loses strength and collapses against the sheets, pulling herself as far away from him as possible. She will smell his scent forever. She will wake from nightmares with his face inches from hers. She will never get away from his taste. She will never hide from his force.

She is his captive. She lays there. Lifeless. Forgotten. Invisible.

Finally, the man finishes, grunting with satisfaction. Broken again by a man she doesn’t know. she fights the rage, lacking the energy to act out on her impulses. She reacts the only way she knows how. She waits and hopes.

He puts on his leather shoes, the weight of his steps now matching his physical force. Walking over to where she still lay motionless, his eyebrows sink in confusion. She’s hidden her face against the pillow, her shoulders still quivering from the sobs she held back during the session. He places a timid hand on her arm and she turns to look him square in the eyes. It’s the first time she’s forced him to look at her – truly see her. She waits.

One second. He sees life and hopes and dreams. Two seconds. He sees despair and pain and hopelessness. Three seconds. He sees peace and acceptance and waiting. Four seconds. He sees beauty out of ashes and restoration out of destruction.

His destruction.

The man jumps back, his breath skipping a beat before turning and running out of the room. She follows him with her gaze, and only when his steps become distant does she allow herself the dignity of mourning.

Every 60 seconds, 2 children are trafficked into commercial sex exploitation. Over 100,000 US children are forced into pornography or prostitution each year. You can help. Check out She Dances or Love146 for more information on how you can make experiences like this history. Also: Check out Anne Jackson's blog as she exposes this darkness in Moldova and Russia. Her stories will haunt you.

kairos pt. 2 - ronel

About a week ago, I posted about Amos, an incredible little boy who needed to be reunited with his family. Since then, I have been introduced to countless precious faces reunited with their forever families. And then I heard of Ronel. I actually already knew who he was. Jamie Ivey posted a blog about him almost two years ago. Debra and her husband Eddie answered the call to step out in faith and adopt him. This brings us to the present. This brings us to his moment of kairos.

Ronel was supposed to be on the flight home with Amos. Check out this excerpt from a visiting missionary's blog:

Tara told me today that the boys were flying to the US. One was going to his adoptive family in Houston Texas, the other to a family in Dallas. When I got back from my days work, the boys were all dressed in their very best to meet their new families. They were so excited. I was so excited for them. It was hard to watch them go.

Later in the evening after dinner, the truck returned from the airport where 27 children were flying to meet their new parents. In the front seat of the truck was Ronel, the 6-7 year old that was staying in my room. I asked why he was still here and Tara told me it was because they needed one more paper for him. The other children got to go. She said she hoped they could get the needed paperwork tomorrow. I would never wish for you to see the disappointment on Ronel's face because it would crush your heart... it did mine. It was dark and the power was off. He went into our room, laid down on the bed, pulled the sheets up and sobbed. It was so sad. Tara came in and talked to him in Kreole... I'm not sure what she said but I know she was trying to comfort him. After a time she got up and left as I sat across the room. I could not leave him by himself. I went over and motioned for him to move over and I laid down next to him. The tears were pouring out of him. He was still in his new clothes as he fell asleep.

Earlier in this post, the man says,

I asked God tonight, how many times can my heart break... cause it's breaking all the time

You know, there's this worship song going around churches right now. It's been popular for about a year and a half. And as I read posts today about Ronel and as my twitter stream started filling up with pleas for the media to take notice, I couldn't help but think of the lyrics:

Heal my heart and make it clean, Open up my eyes to the things unseen... show me how to love like you - have loved me Break my heart for what breaks yours... everything I am for Your kingdom come as I go from earth unto eternity.

Sometimes, God asks us to do things that make us uncomfortable. Sometimes he asks us to step out in faith and believe and trust and reach our hands as far as we can to touch his beauty.

And sometimes, we see pictures of kids like Ronel. We hear his story. We experience his pain. And we know...

God is breaking our hearts for what breaks His.

I believe Ronel's situation is close to the heart of God.

But you know all about it— the contempt, the abuse. I dare to believe that the luckless will get lucky someday in you. You won’t let them down: orphans won’t be orphans forever - Psalm 10:14

So what can you do? There are many things. Do you twitter? Tweet the heck out of this story. Send tweets to @cnn and @andersoncooper and any other media outlets you know of. UNICEF has shown their mighty bureaucratic muscles and not many people are getting the full story of what's truly going on with adoptions and orphans. Let's give them the story. Call as well. Below are some people to contact by e-mail/phone/etc.

Raymond Joseph Haitian Ambassador to US embassy@haiti.org p 202-332-4090 f 202-745-7215

Kenneth H Merten US Ambassador to Haiti Tabarre 41, Blvd 15 Octobre Port-au-Prince, Haiti Haiti-earthquake@state.gov P 509 22 29 8000 F 509 22 29 8028

Hilary Clinton/Dept of State U.S. Department of State 2201 C Street NW Washington, DC 20520 Main Switchboard: 202-647-4000

Also, blog about it. These people? I've never met them. But they are my brother and sister in Christ, and they need my help. When the earthquake first hit, I wrote about my missing pieces still waiting for me to return to Haiti - but I knew if I couldn't go, I could share through story. And so I am. First Amos - now Ronel.

Let's pray him home.

Posted on January 30, 2010 and filed under adoption, story.

kairos

[caption id="attachment_491" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Photo courtesy of www.aaronivey.com"][/caption] I should be creating some type of lesson centered on East of Eden right now, but I can't - this face is occupying all of my thoughts and prayers. His name is Amos, and he is the son of Jamie and Aaron Ivey. He lives in Haiti at Real Hope For Haiti and is waiting for a visa or humanitarian parole so he could be reunited with his family. Amos is not the only orphan waiting for his adoption to be complete, but he is one I can pray for by name.  

In ancient Greek, kairos means the opportune time - the suspended time in between chronos (or chronological) events where something special occurs. It's the supreme moment for one to act - to join others in a situation or cause. This is Amos' moment of kairos. I've only met Aaron once or twice, and know Jamie only through her blog and twitter stream, but their anxiousness and absolute yearning for God to move is evident in their hearts. They believe in His sovereignity. They believe His will prevails. They believe God will bring Amos home. In Aaron's latest blog he says,

 there’s ALOT involved in this complex situation, and we’re literally on the edge of our seat.  pray for Amos.  pray for the other orphans that need to be issued visas/humanitarian paroles.  and pray for the men & women that are on the ground in Haiti, working around the clock with the US Embassy to get these kids to their parents.

Will you join me in prayer? This isn't just another prayer request - it's an opportunity for the church to be on our knees for one purpose. Pray for divine intervention - for hearts to be moved and red tape torn away so Amos can come home. Pray for the Ivey family - for peace and comfort and wisdom as they wait to hear word. Most importantly, pray for Amos' protection while in Haiti and that he would know, somehow, there is an army of prayer warriors rising up on his behalf.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4eZybIXpm8&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

Posted on January 20, 2010 .