If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one to hear it, does it make a noise? So goes the philosophical question.
I have a better question.
If God gives one of his most precious gifts — a newborn baby — and there is no one to love it, is it still precious? Let me answer this way.
I had the opportunity to walk through Cunas at night when all the babies were asleep. Cunas (cradles or cribs in English) is the name a large orphanage in Quito, Ecuador used to describe its three rooms full of cribs. I went from crib to crib looking at each sleeping face. I was in awe. I felt I was in a holy place. Indeed, these little angels are precious beyond belief. Cunas is a sacred vault filled with God’s greatest treasures.
Today I am filled with deep sadness. When OSSO first started working in this orphanage, all the cribs had low sides. After a few months, the kids started doing something they had not done before. They started standing up in their cribs and falling out.
Before we came, the overwhelmed orphanage staff did not have time to hold, love, or play with the kids. The children spent hour after hour in their cribs, and this lack of attention meant that they were way behind in their development. While most kids their age were standing, walking, and climbing, they were still safely laying in their cribs. Our volunteers gave them enough attention to help them catch up, stand up, and fall out.
So, 14 years ago, OSSO bought all new cribs with higher sides to keep the kids safe. Last Christmas, however, OSSO stopped sending volunteers to this orphanage. We just did not have enough volunteers. We have tried to help with money to hire more orphanage workers, but there just isn’t enough. We need more volunteers.
These babies will always be precious, but it would be nice if they were precious to someone besides God and a few orphanage workers.
To me, the whole concept of an orphanage is ridiculous. It is like building a special bank to store all the gold and diamonds no one wants.
This blog post is fourth out of a series of 12 Christmas stories by founder Rex Head. Read the other stories below.