It’s been 5 days since leaving Haiti after my first mission trip. Since returning, my body has been physically sick. Headaches, nausea, coughing and general discomfort. It’s always a nuisance to be sick. It stops us from our daily routines and busy lives but for some people all over the world, sickness is part of their daily life. Broken bodies, pain and suffering, it leaves me with a lot of questions.
Our team had the opportunity to visit a special needs orphanage while in Haiti. The children living here are all, to some degree, broken physically. Bodies broken in wheelchairs, bodies broken mentally and physically in all capacities. After entering the orphanage I quickly saw a group of about six or seven boys lying flat on their backs on a mat on the floor. Their limbs were twisted and formed in ways that didn’t allow them to move much. I, along with others from our team, was instantly drawn to these almost motionless children. We sat down and each took a child to hold. Their contorted bodies unable to relax in our arms. We continually brushed away the flies that were surrounding them and tried to hold them in a way that was comfortable for them. We talked to them and prayed for them but the realization of our lack of ability to help these boys was overwhelming. We all started to sing. “This little light of mine” rang through the room and as we continued to sing songs of praise, more children came and sat with us. The boys in our arms started smiling, laughing, and for this moment, they seemed filled with joy. Their spirits came to life inside them.
“But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the spirit is life because of righteousness.” Romans 8:10.
Although our own bodies may not be as physically broken as the boys in this orphanage, we are all broken by sin. Our flesh cannot continue past this life. “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the flesh, but those who live according to the spirit set their minds on the spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death but to set the mind on the spirit is life and peace.” Romans 8:5-6.
I am grateful for the time we spent at the orphanage. These boys will forever be etched in my mind and I long to hold them again. Their broken bodies will one day run and play at the feet of Jesus and while I don’t understand their purpose in this life, I put my trust in a God that does.
Written by Claire Owen