Yesterday, I had my heart broken. Deborah and I had the opportunity to visit a facility in Tijuana for children in the state who have been abandoned or rescued by Child Protective Services. There is not enough space in private orphanages, so the children who can’t be placed are sent to a government-run facility. This particular facility was built for 150 children. On average, they have more than 350 children interned. Of those 350, 32 have special needs.
The tour started in the baby wing of the facility. We walked into a room that has dozens of cribs with babies that were either sleeping or staring off into the distance. None of them were crying. I think they’ve learned that crying doesn’t change anything. With only four staff members taking care of the feeding, changing, bathing, cooking, and cleaning, there is little time for just sitting and holding the babies. One of the baby girls we met has special needs and is waiting for space to open up in an orphanage. I instantly thought of Raul, the 3-year-old boy we just received from this shelter. This is where he lived for more than 3 months. These were the cribs he lived in. I wish we could have taken him sooner.
We moved on to the preschool wing where they brought us 20 boys with special needs. As the social worker began listing off the children and their ages, she would tell us who receives visits from family and who has been given the label “abandonado” (abandoned). As they were listing kids to us and pointing them out, one higher-functioning boy—maybe 9-years-old—came up to Deborah and I and said, “Nobody visits me.” I think he knew why we were there and he wanted us to know that he should be on our list. They brought another boy in who has not been given a name because he’s never been registered. They just call him “Masculino” (masculine). The workers at this facility are doing the best they can, but they are totally overwhelmed. As a result, the children suffer.
However, with this heartbreak comes hope. Eternal Anchor is preparing to build a second home in 2019. If we are able to raise the funds, we can change the lives of up to 8 of these children needing a home. The first step is the building. We need $50,000 to build the second home. The land is there. We just need the home.
Having witnessed this need first hand, we feel responsible to do something about it, but we can’t do it alone. That is why I’m asking for your help. I know this time of year there are a lot of people asking for money; part of me hates being another one of those asks. But when I think about the need we are trying to meet, when I think about the face of each child that has been abandoned, and when I think about the responsibility I have to advocate for them, it is totally worth it to extend this invitation and ask you to be a part of this solution.
Now that I have seen the need, I am responsible to do something about it. Please join me by praying, sharing this story, and if you have the ability, please give. There’s no greater investment than offering a loving home to an abandoned child. It is one of the most powerful manifestations of God’s love we can be part of on this earth.
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.” Proverbs 31:8
“Hope is an anchor for the soul”