There are several ways to define what a home is, but I think my favorite is ‘the place in which one’s domestic affections are centered. This definition shows that home is more than a building or a place where you reside, it is a place that you are attached to by positive emotion.
When I think of home, I am filled with warmth and love, however, I realize that not everyone has the same reaction. Some people are instead filled with a sense of longing or desire. Some people have never experienced what having a place to call home is like.
An orphan is defined as, a person that is without protective affiliation or sponsorship. There are many reasons why a child would become an orphan and come to live at the Shadow of His Wings Orphanage in Monjas, Guatemala. The children here come from a variety of backgrounds – including physical and sexual abuse, neglect, abandonment, human trafficking, and/or the loss of both parents. No matter their reason for being at the orphanage, every kid here is looking for the same thing, a place to call home. It isn’t always an easy transition when kids arrive, but as they grow accustomed to the security and love that is offered to them, most begin to thrive.
There is a comfort in knowing that you have a place to sleep and food to eat that you cannot fully appreciate until it is not there. A child should never have to concern themselves with making sure their most basic of needs are met. They should be free to play and learn without worry before the weight of responsibility hits them. The Shadow of His Wings Orphanage works tirelessly to make sure that each child has all of their needs provided. Being able to offer them that security is made possible by the generosity of people willing to sponsor these kids each month. When people so abundantly blessed give to people so desperately in need, God’s love is shown.
On March 8th, Guatemala experienced a heartbreaking tragedy when a state run orphanage caught fire. At the time it was housing over 700 children. At least 35 were killed and many are still hospitalized for burns. The remaining children at the home have been dispersed to other facilities, including the Shadow of His Wings Orphanage where as many as 20 new children are expected over the next few weeks. The missionaries and staff at Shadow Of His Wings do an amazing job at creating an atmosphere of warmth, love, and security where the children can play, learn, and grow without worry. It is more than a shelter, it is a place they can call home, but in order to provide for the needs of the children already at home in the orphanage as well as the ones still searching for the security they deserve, help is needed.
In James 1:27, God handed the responsibility of caring for the needs of the widows and orphans to His people. These children are His children just as we are. Consider the impact you could have by giving up one dinner out a month or one trip to the movies and committing that money to sponsoring one of these children. We often spend $35 without thought on a new shirt or a new gadget that we just have to have. For that same investment each month, you can change the direction of a young person’s life and offer hope in an overwhelming situation. If you are not ready to commit to a monthly donation, consider making it a one time gift to help with the initial cost of providing these children a new home. If you are blessed, be a blessing and help us meet this desperate need.