My friend K. is truly a woman of influence in her culture. The 20 additional children showed up at the orphanage for an initial visit while we were eating lunch in her dining room. Without a word, she slipped outside and made sure their arrival was a smooth one. While we were there, she also checked the previous children’s arms for their TB skin test results. Seven kids showed positive. Now they’ll have to take one pill on an empty stomach every morning for a year – accomplishing that will take nothing short of an act of God.
The facility was spacious but very modest: A three-storey concrete building provides a sitting room, kitchen, bedrooms, shower and tub, a covered deck on which to play during the monsoon rains, and a study room. The eating area is a separate building that holds four wood tables and enough benches for 42 kids. Where the other 20 will eat is anyone’s guess. A third building, a narrow brick structure with a bare concrete floor provides indoor play space. It’s a far cry from anything seen in North America, but it’s more than what some of these kids have come from, and their smiles show that they’re happy to be there. One little fellow, maybe four years old, sidled up to me and slipped his hand in mine – he stole my heart in an instant, and then we had to say goodbye. Sometimes I wonder why life seems to be so unfair, especially to these innocent ones.
We spent the remainder of the day traveling across the city and then visiting a training institute for Nepalese church workers. There are 12 students presently enrolled in the five-month program. Again, talk about a modest facility! The director has to walk through the men’s sleeping quarters (a bare room with four bunk beds) to get to his office. Three female students share sleeping quarters on a different floor. The dining room has one table meant for four people – perhaps the rest spill onto the adjoining outdoor deck. The teaching room has six narrow tables barely long enough to accommodate two students each, and a small whiteboard on one wall.
Nevertheless, good things are happening in and through the lives of these young people who have decided to follow Jesus. Several have overcome drug addiction and are now helping others who are struggling with various issues in their lives. They remain steadfast despite persecution. It’s obvious they’re following the Lord because they love Him, not because of a false notion that He’ll make their lives peachy-keen.