Saturday, April 14, 2012

Boy time flies....

Is it really April? I feel like the first day of school was yesterday and I have not even sat down yet!! I am a bit burnt out as I have taken on a 3rd class this semester but I am being blessed by the kids - as always. Their impact on me never fails and always brings me joy. Steve and I are figuring out our roles here more and more. Praying next year will fill more at home. When we came our roles were very muddy and still are in many ways, but slowly they are coming together. At the end of March we had our annual Spiritual Emphasis/Week Without Walls. It was fun as usual. We had the opportunity to house and get to know Bill and Bill Nottle. (Father and son) What a blessing they were to us! They are from the Salvation Army - which brought great joy to Steve and I as we had placed our toe in those waters a while back to check out their ministry. What great work that organization does world wide! The Salvation Army has several orphanages here in Indonesia. I thought I would tell you a bit about orphanages and adoption here. Many, many children are abandoned due to the simple fact their parents are unable to provide for them. Children are placed in orphanages and are actually labeled as abandoned - that hurts. :( So many kids are in need of homes and loving families, but here is the catch - they must be adopted into the same faith as their parents. Of course, the majority of these kids parents are Muslim. Also, if the faith is unknown it is assumed to be Muslim. There are just not a lot of Muslims adopting so they are stuck in the system. Praise God for organizations who focus on the social need of the children and also love them as Christ would like the Salvation Army. Additionally, children who are christian (which is rare) are difficult to adopt as well. There are many laws on the books such as; parents being naturally unable to have children of their own, having less than 2 children already, not having children from other countries than their own, etc. The crazy part is that due to government corruption the rules are not always followed to the letter. I know families with several children who have adopted and others who have no children have been told no. Steve and I checked into the possibility and we were told we could not adopt and then told we should fill out the paperwork and they will contact us later...huh? I know of a family in the central part of our island who have agreed to remain in country and raise a national friend's child until they are 17 because they cannot legally adopt and they want to give this child the best life possible. These are some of the types of people who we serve near - people who make a 17 year commitment for the soul of one child. There are private Muslim orphanages that have nothing - and I mean nothing. It is so incredibly sad to go there with a bag of rice and see their living conditions and know that you would never be able to bring a child out of that. However, they love for us to bring things - so that in itself is our ministry. Did you know $60 can buy a huge bag of rice that will help feed all the children at a Muslim orphanage near us for a month? What did you last spend $60 on? Food for thought...(pun intended)

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