We know that the concept,”Blessed to be a Blessing” comes from the Abrahamic promise, that all people would be blessed through Abraham. (Genesis 12:2-3) But when I read those words, brightly colored, on the inside wall of a small Indonesian orphanage, it took my breath away. Of all people, this house full of orphans considers themselves blessed to be a blessing? Of course they do! Their Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills. Their hearts are full of the peace of Christ. They know the comfort of their Savior, Healer, Redeemer, Restorer Ayah Bapak (Father God)!
When you walk into the orphanage and look at the faces of the 37 children who call it their home the most natural question to ask is, “Why?” Why oh why does three year old Rafael not have a mama and daddy of his very own? Why oh why does Joshua, who is still very much a boy, seem to carry himself like a man? Why do these darling little girls have to ask questions about where their mama and daddy are living now and if anyone will ever love them enough to take them home?
But then, you spend a little more time and the children begin to warm up. They begin to act a little more like children and they let you see their smiles; precious smiles. They show you their pet dogs, their pet birds, and the favorite tree they love to climb. And you meet the precious married couple who run the orphanage and suddenly you see it. These kids are totally blessed! Indeed, they are blessed to be a blessing. This “orphanage” is so full of love, and play, and learning, and kindness that indeed these precious ones are masterfully cared for by the One who knows the number of hairs on their heads and keeps record of their tears. The man who runs the orphanage with his wife is a third-generation Bapak (Father) to orphans. His father ran the orphanage before him, and before that, his grandfather. What a legacy of pure, sweet, gospel goodness!
And this weekend, here is just one small way that this group of children blessed our little family. On the way home from the orphanage, and that night at bedtime my oldest two children began asking really astounding questions about God’s love and ability to care for the fatherless. Suddenly, my little ones, who are often found squabbling over toys and nonsense found themselves truly moved out of their own little story and thinking deeply about the life and worth of others. What a blessing!
Will be be back at the orphanage soon loving on the ones Christ died to save? Of course! Will we still struggle with our “why” questions? Surely. Will God continue to show Himself good? Pasti dong! (For sure!)
May your week be blessed and may you find fullness of life as you pour yourself out for others. Love, Jess
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27