Thursday, April 5, 2012

Live as the doctrine demands....

We had the amazing opportunity to visit an orphanage this week, and before my poor memory fades, I wanted to tell you about our encounter with our joyful new friends! We had heard from our translator for quite awhile that there was an orphanage close by, but with our travel to Germany and wheelchair training it just kind of got put off until this week. We met with the city officials that are in charge of the orphanage and heard a little about it before we went to visit it. It is a bit of a new twist from the traditional orphanage that we all think about in the U.S. It was built to give the children a feeling of "home" and "family". The city, understanding the importance of both security and love to the proper development of a child decided to attempt a new, more progressive approach. A humanitarian group from Switzerland came in ten years ago and built the buildings...there are two of them. Each house has a mother and father and up to 10 children that those parents are responsible for. We were so impressed with how loving and happy these children were. I wish every one of you could have been with us to see them run out to our car, greet us and give these strange old Americans their hearts! I can tell you they melted ours! Because they are on a rotating school schedule we didn't get to meet all of them, so next time we want to go out on a Saturday.

Our new friends, aren't they a happy bunch?

The city supplies them with food and expenses for everyday living, but any extras are just not in the already strained city budget. That means that the beds, sheets, pillows and blankets are ten years old now and in need of being replaced. The homes were not made for that many children and especially not any handicapped children, but they have both, too many children and some mentally disabled children as well. This has occurred because they accommodate sibling groups that the city feels like it's in the children’s best interest to keep together for obvious reasons. The parents in both homes are dedicated wonderful, care givers that really look at these children as "their own". You could tell by the interaction between them that the children were loved and cared different from some of the other facilities that we have been in.

We came away with a desire to do a project for them, so we are now in the mists of developing something. To relieve the overcrowding a little bit, we would like to buy some bunks beds, and then perhaps see that each child, whether or not they are the lucky ones to get a new bed at least will get a new pillow and blanket. We are crunching numbers and seeing if we can get it into our budget parameters.

Okay, so here is the rest of the story....... the next morning after we visited this orphanage the missionaries, (they live here now, remember?) Asked us if we would like to sit in on a lesson they were teaching to a young man. We said, "of course" and so at the appointed time we met with them and their investigator. In my efforts to get to know him, I asked him if he was from Banja Luka, he said yes, that he lived with his brother and his grandmother. His mother, he said, had died eight years ago of brain cancer and his father had hung himself 4 years ago. He said he had 5 other siblings that were in an orphanage near here......yep! You guessed it! I pulled out my camera, and he was so cute! "THAT'S MY BROTHER! THAT'S MY SISTER!" Do you think that it was just a coincidence?? I think not, The Lord is in control and sometimes it  takes a little experience like this to really bring that into focus for us.

We are so grateful for all these little bits of learning we are gathering on this mission. What a great blessing it has been to us.

On a totally different subject, I read this statement the other day by Thomas Jefferson, "What does it matter how strictly you proclaim your belief in various doctrines if you do not live as these doctrines demand?"

 Gotta love it!

When I saw this quote I immediately thought of the above picture,  but upon a more thoughtful introspection it came to me, how quick we are to judge. I loved conference and the timely message to "Stop it" and I now have a new motto:  "live as the doctrine demands" 

I can’t wait for Easter Sunday; the Tadic kids have been learning “Hosanna” to sing in church for sacrament meeting. They sound amazing; I will try to get it on video if I can figure out how to do that on my camera. That’s the goal for my next post.

1 comment:

Kristi said...

I love the small miracles all around us, thanks for sharing this story.