This past week we had a team come down from FBC LaGrange, and that team included my (Matt) parents Bill and Mike (my Mom) Bush. There are a lot of things that we will talk about and blog about from the past 3 weeks because we have had 3 different teams and we want to talk a little about how GOD has used them to help All Things New. The first thing that struck me, however, was what it means to us when our parents come down to visit. It brings to mind a stark contrast between those of us who have parents that we love and who love us and those who do not.
First of all, it is really good for us when we have any team come down and spend the week with us. It can get a little lonely down here from time to time even though we have a wonderful group of friends here both Haitian and Americans who have moved here. So it is really good when teams come down and we get to talk about home and the states. It is even better, however, when family comes down. We both have wonderful families in America, and the most lonely part of living here can be separation from family. Not knowing when someone is sick, not being their for birthdays/holidays, and not being able to talk and share our lives together like we used to. When our family comes down, all of that changes. We can sit around together, go to the orphanage together, eat together, and just have a time to talk about whatever we want. It is really good for us and makes Haiti feel more and more like home when we are able to do that.
At the same time, I think about our children who either do not have parents, maybe have parents who cannot take care of them, and then some who have parents that do not want to take care of them. Sometimes, in the midst of taking care of everything here, I can forget the basis of why we are taking care of our wonderful children. We are taking care of them because they do not have parents. There is this big debate in orphan care circles about what a “true orphan” is. Is a child an orphan if they have lost both of their parents? Is he/she an orphan if they still have 1 parent but that parent cannot take care of them? So there are all of these missionaries/childcare workers who talk about this, and try to come to theoretical conclusions about which children should be cared for based on whether or not their parents are living. In truth, I am all for being careful about how you help people and how you don’t, and I definitely believe that it is important to help keep children with their parents. But this is such a flawed way of talking about these things when there are children who desperately need to be loved and taken care of. In the midst of these debates, children are missing out on the love that every child should have…the love of a parent. I take this for granted so often, and I am sure that many of you do also. I have great parents who, to this day, still take care of me in whatever way that they can and I’m a 36 year old adult.
In light of this, please be in prayer for our children everyday. If you cannot think of any other reason to pray for them, pray for them because they are missing something vital to everyone…they are missing the love and attention that we should all get from our moms and dads. We try as hard as we can to give it to them, our teams do a wonderful job of helping, and our employees are learning how to do this as well. But it’s just not the same as having that mom and dad that you can go to when you are scared, lonely, hurt, sad, happy, and whatever else we may feel and sharing that experience with them. It’s just not the same as Having Parents.