Just reading those words probably brings up thoughts, memories, images of years gone by. I'm guessing most of you have happy memories associated with these words. I know that I do. I think of ...
candles - and a little one trying hard to blow them all out
cake - especially that one for the first birthday smeared all over your face
party - a time to share with family and friends
gifts - a squeal of delight to know you have been given something undeserved
attention - for a day anyway, the focus is on you. Who doesn't enjoy a little positive attention.
so many sweet memories of birthdays ...
My birthday is coming up soon (next month), but that isn't why I'm thinking about birthdays now. Also coming up is the birthday of a little girl that I have grown to love. I didn't intend to fall in love with her. I've never met her and I know very little about her. I've prayed for her faithfully for almost a year though and in that year, I've fallen in love with a little girl living across an ocean and far away. A little girl called Tonya.
I started off just wanting to make a difference in the life of another child with Down syndrome. God has called us to care for orphans and one way our family has done this is to sponsor children in lieu of gift giving at Christmas. Last fall, as we looked over the listing of children, we chose a child that seemed to be in great need. She was 3 years old and her listing said she was at significant risk and needed to be adopted soon. I began to pray. I didn't know that the power of prayer would lead to more than just concern or sympathy, but love for this child I don't know.
She has beautiful dark eyes. I wonder if she has even seen a candle or a birthday cake. She has such cute chubbie cheeks. Does anyone ever kiss them? I wonder so many things. Is she loved? Does she like to laugh? Does she have much to laugh about? Does she like to play outside? Has she ever been given a gift? Will she ever know the love of a family?
I can't tell you how many times I've cried as I pray for sweet little Tonya. I pray, urge, and yes, beg for God to send her family to go get her. I pray that she will be safe and kept in the baby house (orphanage) until a family can bring her home.
Why the tears? Well, beside the obvious of her needing a family, is the fate of this precious child if she doesn't get a family. At age 4, she can be transferred to an institution. Here, she will most likely die within the first year. I've been told that death is a blessing as some of these places are just horrible. I can't type more as I'm crying now just thinking about it.
Sweet Tonya's birthday is next week. She will be four. Will you join me in storming the gates of heaven for this precious child? I so want for her to have a family to love her, to sing happy birthday and to give her the life that every child deserves.
It's not just this sweet child. There are thousands more all over the world that need someone to step forward and bring them home. Please pray for these children. Please pray about what you can do to help one of these beautiful children. We can't change the world, but perhaps we can change the world for one child.