Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Reunions & Relationship

I hate goodbyes.  No question about it.

But I do love hellos.

A couple weeks ago I was able to travel to the orphanage to visit the kids we took to the states with Window to Hope this summer.

I had brought letters from all the host families and some small gifts as well.  The sweetest moment to me was when I laid out the gifts on the floor (for them to choose) and handed them their letters at the same time.   You’d never have known that candy and toys were lying in the middle of the room; instead each child was enraptured in reading the letters they had received.  You could have heard a pin drop as they each sat there reading, smiles appearing on their faces as they read.   Finally I had to remind them about the presents.

Being with these kids reminded me again what they are hungry for.  Relationship.

Yes, kids love candy and kids love stuff.  In reality, we all do. Sometimes we even think that the chocolate bar or the latest gadget will make us happy—just like these kids.

But at the end of the day, what we really want is to be known.  We want to know that someone is thinking about us.  We want to know that someone cares about what happens in our day.   We want to know that we are not forgotten.   We want to know that we are liked…or even better, loved. 

We want to know that our life matters to someone. 

After most of the kids filed out of the room where we’d been hanging out, two of the older girls remained. I sensed the desire for connection and relationship stronger within these two.  They wanted to reminisce and remember together.  They took turns sharing favorite memories from the summer and funny things that had happened in their host families, things they missed and things they learned.

I didn’t really recognize what was happening in that moment but what I saw taking place was so healthy.  The ability to call to mind positive memories and to relive them helps us form our identity.  To have shared memory with others is both healing and connecting.   Relationship is vital. 

My heart breaks when I think of the number of kids in this country-- no, the amount of kids in this world, who don’t have a relationship with a healthy adult.  More than buildings, more than resources, more than clothes and food, kids need people.   Such a simple and yet timeless message.

It doesn’t matter where you live. There is need in every city, state and nation.  Who are the children God has placed closest to you?  Where are kids near you that are in desperate need of relationship?  They are there if you look up—and they are needing to know that they are not forgotten. 


Rudi said...

keep up the great work Karen

Natasha Jones said...

Oh, rub it in, won't ya?! I miss them all like crazy. Have been thinking about all of them a lot. I love these pictures. Can we send this story to NSB to be posted? Love you and can't wait to see you.

Rachael said...

wow, i love this post. so true. God has really been impressing that on my heart as well. there is a need everywhere.