Yesterday I met with a girl from our church to see pictures and hear stories from a recent trip she made to El Salvador to work in several orphanages. Sitting in Starbucks sipping my iced tea, I was taken a few thousand miles away to these orphanages through her stories and images.
It was a very sobering time for me as I heard story after story that made my heart ache and honestly just ask the question “WHY??”
One story she told me about was a little girl – probably around 2 or 3 years old who would be left on a metal table high in the air everyday because there were too many kids for each of them to be personally watched and cared for. The little girl would just sit with a diaper on in the middle of this table all day long afraid of falling off – and quite often with a dirty diaper on for hours on end.
I was moved by these stories. And while I understand that these types of thing are happening all over the world, it doesn’t change the fact that every one of these children are INNOCENT. They were brought into this world for a variety of reasons – rape, wedlock, teen pregnancy, etc… yet they didn’t have a choice in the matter of where or under what circumstances to be born.
The most amazing part about it all is that almost every picture showed these kids smiling. They were happy. Happy in the midst of complete poverty. Happy with not enough clothes. Happy with lousy food. It was almost like their contentment was based on the fact that they were alive (which they don’t even consider). As far as they were concerned, life was pretty good. They know nothing different.
I’m still processing what I saw in these pictures and heard through Mary’s stories. Apart from the sadness of all of it, I have to ask myself what I can personally learn through Mary’s experience in El Salvador. The digestion process has begun…