All the kids from the orphanage along with their caregivers and us go on an adventure together at some point during the week. So today was field trip day. We went to a national park with picturesque views of rocky mountains, streams to wade and play in and just a place to hang out and have fun.
First we were going to do a “small” hike (notice the quotes meant to be air quotes as their version of small isn’t the American Version) and eat lunch with all the kids. Then the smaller children would go off to school and we would do some rock climbing and mountain biking with the older kids. After a brief look at the mountains and lessons in rock skipping, we were off on our hike. This hike was more like rock climbing without a rope or helmet and was being done by even the small kids of about 4 or 5 years old. Now as we progressed up the mountain, oh I mean small hike, I realized it was not the place for a clumsy woman who falls on the flat pavement and so about a 1/4 of the way up, I turned around and went down. The whole day was a great day of fun!
Later in the day in our small group time, a couple of our teenage girls were discussing the hike. In their telling about overcoming their fears and helping carry and lift up the small ones from the orphanage and making it up this mountain, a heartbreaking story emerged for me. Our American teenagers didn’t see it but God revealed a sad realization to me about this day. The girls had come to a treacherous part of the hike and had to physically lift up the children so they could make it to the next flat and safe spot. So they formed a chain. The two girls would lift up the girls and have them grab the hand of a preteen American boy and he would lift them to a safe spot. They tried this several times with one young girl and she would not take his hand and pushed back and was continually doing this. They said the only thing they could think to say was, “por favor”, just take his hand. She refused, each time pushing back and almost making the girls drop her and lose footing. Our girls didn’t understand. Why couldn’t she just take his hand? I felt like I knew why. Probably because a male hand had hurt that child deeply in some abusive manner and even though that was a hand being outstretched to help her she couldn’t overcome that fear and take it. I stood in worship later that night and I just couldn’t forget it. It broke my heart and solidified why we are here. We are here to show them God’s love and His outstretched hand. To show them over and over, trip after trip, group after group, that God is reaching for her. He has a plan for her life and he has sent us to show her his love and how much he wants her. He wants her to take that outstretched arm and pull him close.
– Rachel Holland