As I write this blog I find myself in a country where children have no voice, where justice seems to be unheard of, and happiness is thought to be found in America. As I write this blog I pray for peace and understanding. As all of you know I keep my blog honest and express my heart. Right now I sit still, broken to pieces. I sit here disgusted with myself and my American lifestyle. I sit in a house full of babies whose stories break me even more. A little girl who was left under a bridge to die, a boy who had a stroke as a infant and was left in the hospital by his mother after birth, a child whose father is her grandfather, a precious baby whose mother threw her on the dirty floor of the public hospital and left her for someone else to raise..
I cry out to God and pray for this earth to be as it is in heaven. Before this trip I prayed God would break my heart, and He is so faithful. I am being broken to pieces, my heart is aching. He wakes me up in the middle of the night to pray for His children. He is showing me a small glimpse of what He sees, He is slowly giving me His eyes and His heart to see His children suffering.
Shortly after I arrived we got a call, Child Services informed us four babies had been abandoned and left at the public hospital. For what seemed like hours of running around the house frantically getting everything ready we anticipated the arrival of these little ones. We arrived to this place that they call a hospital. A hospital where laboring mothers share a bed to give birth. Where people die from MRSA infections every day. Where the Maternity ward has dozens of new parents and family members sleeping outside on a concrete floor, because there is no plush comfy room for them to stay with their new baby.
After turning corners and going through hall ways we arrived to where the waiting babies are. As we were waiting a man covered in dirt with a burlap sack over his back stood behind us in tears. Come to find out this was the first of the four babies father. This babies mother had died in child birth, the father arrived at the hospital to pick up his new baby boy not knowing that his wife had passed away. The nurses informed him when he arrived. He had walked more than 5 miles and left all their other children at home. Tears filled his eyes as he waited to be handed his new child. I looked away because I couldn't bare to look this man in the eyes. I dare to say that I questioned my God, "God how can you let that happen, don't you love him?" The mother of the second baby was using heavy drugs while pregnant and the baby was born addicted, child services was looking frantically for a family member who could be trusted with this child. I dare to say I questioned my God again, "Do you not care about this child's life, do you not see whats happening?" The third child's story we do not know, but the fourth child's story we know all too well.
I found myself leaving the hospital with a 4lb baby boy who had no name. We were informed that his mother had mental problems and had tied his wrists together. So as we got in the car I slowly took off his blanket to see if there was any damage, my heart ached as I saw his little wrist was bloody and full of puss. I remember thinking "God... where are you, how can you let this happen" After what seemed like endless nights of crying and barely eating we decided he needed to see a doctor. We were informed that he was a healthy baby and nothing seemed to be wrong. The next day he spiked a fever and he was brought to the hospital. Come to find out infections and bacteria had filled his body and made its way into his blood stream. As I held his frail little body I prayed God's will would be done, later that night he was admitted back into the public hospital.
Three days later we were informed fluid was filling his lungs and he wasn't expected to live. I once again questioned my God. Before we knew it we were transferring him to a private hospital to save his life, after blood transfusions, IV injections, and oxygen tubes, he was released from the hospital, God had worked a miracle. Praising Jesus I held him tight one last time as I watched him leave with his new family at almost 2 weeks old.
But what about when you pray for healing and it doesn't happen, when you cry out to God and He doesn't answer? I found myself asking these questions yesterday once again. I found myself looking around at devastation and thinking God you can't be here. Your presence can not be in this place where abandoned babies are being killed and sold for body parts. God you can't be in a place where abandoned babies are murdered and their lifeless bodies are filled with drugs to smuggle over the boarder. You can't be here in the midst of a child being raped.
How dare I question the creator of the universe and the father of these children. They are not my children... they are His. How dare I scream "God where are you, don't you see whats happening!?" How dare I think for even a second my ways and my plans are better than His. How dare I question His love. I believe in a mighty God. I believe in a God who is sovereign and all knowing. I trust in a God who's plan is far better than mine. I believe in a God who forgives when our human ways take over. God is restoring and renewing but in His timing, and in His way. I find myself having to stop. Having to look past the devastation and in the midst of it all I hear His voice saying "trust me Sophia."
Jeremiah 29:11 states, "I know the plans I have for you declares The Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you hope and a future." Yesterday as I sat in the office of Child services I fought back tears as I was trying to be strong. I tried to forget my fear I still had from that morning. My heart pounded as I held on to a little girl who was about to slip through my fingers. Jeremiah 29:11 was posted on the wall with a bright yellow sun mural. As tears filled my eyes I sat back and watched Child services take this little girl from me and send her away to a orphanage.
This little girl has a name and a story, just like the rest. Her name is Rosemary Daniella and she is from a little town outside of Santa Rosa de Copan. She has been sexually abused, physically abused, and verbally abused. She has been malnourished, assaulted, and lost most of her teeth due to malnutrition. She arrived at House of Hope almost 3 months ago and at 2 years old she is now in a orphanage. Yesterday at around 9:45am I took some of our children to have visits with their birthparents. Two people I have never seen before showed up. Child Services begins to inform me these are the parents of Daniella and they demand that they see her. They ask that I go get Daniella and immediately bring her to the office to visit with her parents, to see the people who raped her, who beat her, and who feed her trash.
At this point I questioned them, because I knew they were not allowed to see her. But DINAF began to explain seeing a child is the parents right and they can not deny them of their rights, with this being said I go back to the house to pick up Daniella. With tears streaming down my face I think of how I am even going to begin to explain this to a 2 year old. I arrive at the house and I just hold her. Explaining we are going to see her parents and I will be right there with her the whole time. We arrive at the office and I can not begin to describe her face when she laid eyes on her parents. It was almost as if the life was immediately stripped from her face. Whimpering and looking at the floor she begins to make her way back to the visitation room, her little fingers tightly clenched around mine.
In the visitation room her father began to get angry. Making threats towards me personally and towards his daughter, we had to leave the office abruptly. With Daniella screaming crying in my arms, I pile all the kids in the car strapping them in as fast as I can. As I am doing this one of the child service workers come out to the car, warning me that Daniella's parents are going to try and follow the car to take Daniella. Frantically I drive as fast as I can praying and crying out for Jesus, stricken with fear I drive 20 minutes outside of town then turn around and head back to the house. After getting a few phone calls I was informed Daniella's father is trying to find House of Hope to take his daughter. Within 2 hours of the visit I had to move this confused, helpless, and distressed child to a orphanage for the safety of myself and everyone in the house.
At 1:30 pm Daniella was taken to a local orphanage for safety. I sat in that office trying to be strong for her. Waiting for the truck to come and take her away. Trying to let her see that she has to be brave, that she is strong, and that God loves her so much. How do you explain to a 2 year old you are giving her to a orphanage to protect her from her parents. To protect her from the people who are suppose to love her the most. This was the point where I look up and saw Jeremiah 29:11 and the bright yellow sun. With tears streaming down my face I just held her and prayed she will one day know she has a Father who is good, who is love, and who is waiting for her with open arms. As I get in the car and drive away I see her crying trying to make her way to where I was going.
Sobbing crying on the way back to the house I felt God's presence so immensely, I felt His pain and brokenness for His children. I sat in my sorrow and wept. As I got it together and walked back in the house a little boy named Anthony came up and asked me where Daniella was. I began to explain she was moved to a place that will be better for her, but really in my head I didn't have the words to say. This little boy saw the tears in my eyes and just gave me a hug. I crave a sweet childlike faith, so trusting and genuine. I live for the day that earth will be as it is in heaven. I live for the day that I can see Daniella again. I now have a small glimpse of what God sees. I came here to learn from this ministry. I am learning so much more than just orphan care, I am learning God's heart for His children. Please pray for Daniella, pray for healing, and for her to feel her Heavenly Father's love.