Therese Wall has served on our board of directors for more than a year, but hadn’t been to see the Charis Home until this past September. This is her story.
|That’s Therese on the right|
I was blessed to be one of twelve people (and among the team my daughter Jessica) to visit the Charis Home this past September. My husband and I have five children of our own, are board members of The Charis Project, and have known the Blue family and Aaron for about 20 years. When we learned about the needs of the orphanage from Aaron and Carrien, we wanted to help in any way possible. We plan to continue to assist in whatever capacity afforded to us, especially praying for this venture.
Now, being an American and from a more affluent society (as compared to most of the world) the physical living conditions these children deal with daily do seem difficult, but the emotional issues they cope with are not as obvious, such as abandonment and loneliness. Most of us will never have to face the circumstances they have to live through. It’s hard for us on the other side of the world to comprehend their situation. Thank the Lord for people like Chala! All the kids were well cared for and when I met Chala and the caretakers I could see why.
|Sports in the mist|
In those few days we were with them we shared prayers, teaching, gifts, supplies, and even a spaghetti dinner! On our first day we all climbed into a couple trucks and whisked the children away to a field where they could try out some of the play equipment a member of the team had brought. Bats, balls, jump ropes, and frisbees soon were flying and everyone enjoyed the time together, even though language was a challenge! But, soccer and ball games are languages everyone can understand.
If I could sum up my experience at the orphanage in a word it would be “contrast”. Physically, the orphanage building blends into the other buildings nearby. It doesn’t look much different. But spiritually, it’s a refuge and a place where you most definitely sense the Holy Spirit’s presence. You can see it on the faces of the children and care takers, and when you talk with Chala. I can see why the “enemy” would feel threatened. It’s one of those places where the spiritual battle lines, which we usually don’t detect, are more easily perceived.
While we were only able to stay a few days, in that short time we hopefully gained a better understanding of the challenges they face and learned how better to meet their immediate needs.