I could say that one reason why I haven't written about my other trip days is because I was working, but the real reason is that the days I didn't write about were either too difficult or too life-changing to simply type. I've had a few months to think about the things that stood out to me the most on this trip. One moment stands out.
"We're going to a special needs orphanage tomorrow, so let's pray for emotional strength and guidance." our team leader said the night before our last day at CRAN and our trip to this orphanage. Knowing me, I was going to be a wreck. I loved kids, but seeing so many with disabilities and no homes would be rough. I initially backed out, thinking that staying home would be better than being dragged across the city and having my heart ripped out and stomped on.
The drive took a long time. Our three taxis all were lost and we panicked as we watched ourselves get deeper into the worst parts of Bogota. No one seemed to have ever heard of this place, like it never existed. One person would point left, while another pointed right. We got all the way to the mountain top before mentioning giving up. We made it after and hour and a half, only to find our group still hadn't arrived yet. The director begged us to come inside, despite us wanting to catch the others if they drove by. When we all got inside, we were led down a dungeon like hallway, around corners, and upstairs.
And there they were. Just sitting, some staggering to walk with walkers and braces, some on their backs on simple blankets. Feeding tubes, head gear, facial impairments, and misshaped heads and legs were only a few troubles we saw.
I spotted a little boy and girl on their backs and said hello. The boy smiled, I asked to hold him. At three, his head was flat on one side and he could scoot himself with his legs, but he couldn't walk. I held him and made funny faces with him that he copied back to me. He giggled, a sound I thought I'd never hear from this hidden place. I could have held him all day. My arms were getting tired, or I wanted to say hi to the others, whatever the reason, I placed him back on his back. Since then, I've thought, "How easy is it to look past this imperfection and see the joy that is this child? If I could be his mother, I would never stop holding him. yet, a sickness was also brewing in me. I could take care of and love this boy, but I couldn't see myself constantly loving the wheelchair bound child, the child with the missing eye. or the one on a constant feeding tube. Why do I have these thoughts? Am I too human? This question still bothers me today...
Since then, I have been thinking of that orphanage hidden on the top of the mountain. Surely there are people with more love than me who can take these children and bring them out of hiding. Let the world know they are here, they are loved, and they are His children.