Today I was talking with one of the summer team members, Ruth, about our kids. We were discussing who has grabbed our hearts and how much we like working with the kids. Then Ruth mentioned a new kid who arrived just days before we started camp this week. He's an older boy, maybe 15 or 16, and we were speculating on what this transition could be like for him. After a minute Ruth says, "Do you think he just goes, 'Well, this is life now'?".
What a kicker.
Imagine you are unceremoniously dropped off at a gated compound holding 75+ other children. You have spent the majority of your life somewhere other than here. Maybe it was with your parents, maybe it was in foster care, maybe it was another orphanage...don't know this particular child's story but wherever he was it was not the Periș orphanage (and understand that even if he was at another orphanage the quality of care can be vastly different between them). So, you have just left any life, however good or bad it was, and been thrust into a totally different life. You have to figure out your place in the hierarchy and you better figure it out quick. Then, a few days after you arrive, this group of Americans rolls up in their big, slightly sketchy looking van, try to befriend you, and then drag you along to their camp about Jesus.
Yep, Jesus loves you! Sorry about everything else!
I'm not saying this may not turn out to be the best thing that has ever happened in this kid's life. In fact, I hope it is. I hope that he learns that he is welcomed by us, no matter how long he has been at the orphanage, and that he is loved, not just by us, but by God. I hope he keeps the sweet, calm demeanor he has (so far) displayed. I hope he makes some great friends. I hope he is safe. I hope that he realizes his potential in life.
I'm praying that if he is thinking, Well, this is life now, that it's with a positive and hopeful tone.