On the way to an international orphanage that took care of special needs children, we decided to stop at a pastry shop and pick up a few things for the 25 children that were waiting for us to arrive. As we stood in front of row after row of the most incredible looking pastries and cakes, it hit us that this would be more than just a treat for them, it may be the biggest joy of their week.
When we arrived we saw the children, most with major disabilities slowly exiting through the front door to greet us. They had no visible redeeming qualities or anything that most of us would call cuteness or adorability. Yet in their eyes and on their faces was a remnant of God’s hand on them, it was as if God had kissed them all on the cheek before they came outside.
A feeling of being privileged came over me and the others that joined me. I had the ultimate sense that we weren’t just coming to the children to help, but were actually honored to be entrusted with the children in every way for a short time. The time spent with the children has marked me eternally and even makes my heart race and my face smile as I’m writing this story.
I can still see the children’s faces light up when we gave each child a pastry. Most of the children hugged us before they even took a bite with. Some of the older children helped the little ones that couldn’t hold their pastry by themselves, eat theirs first before they ate their own. What a natural demonstration of how God has asked us to be with each other and what we as adults should learn from the children.
The day we spent with these special needs children was quite remarkable. From the children’s greetings, to the pastries, to telling stories to the children, to drawing pictures and singing them songs. All of those things marked us in an incredible way; those things may seem simple to you and I, but to disabled children those things are beyond special, they are a time of joy beyond measure, even if it’s only for a short period of time.
It will be a lot of work
Charities for disabled children have a special calling on them. These organizations that have a heart for special needs children have a gift that most other organization don’t.
They have the ability to see the true beauty inside one of these special children and seem to know exactly how and what to do to bring to them the perfect provision of joy and security.
With that said, there is a reality check that needs to be brought in and it’s this…It will be a lot of work. Yes, there are some incredible moments of sharing pastries, drawing pictures and singing with the children, but all around those times are the duties that are not so glamorous or even fun. Yet if they are not done, you will never keep order or stability.
From the moment the disabled children wake up you are in the midst of being their-everything, with no let up until they go to sleep.
Here is the reality check:
– Most children have gone to bathroom in their bed
– During the day, most of the children will need to be cleaned because of bathroom accidents.
– The children will need help dressing themselves
– Most of the children need help feeding themselves
– The children can and will be very messy
– The children will not seem very grateful at times
– Most of the children will need help using the restroom/toilet if they let you know first
– Most children have heightened levels of emotions, good and bad, during waking hours
– The extra levels of needed attention will never end for these children
– You will discover that this is as good as it will ever be for these children
– You will exist in a constant state of exhaustion while caring for these children Welcome to the world of charities for disabled children.
If you can look at the list above and still say, OK I would love to be a part of working with disabled children. You are among the very few that have a calling on your life to be the rescue and heroes for children that will never be able to re-pay you or even show or say how much they appreciate you.
There is no doubt that these children will drain every part of you and still want more than you can give. Yet in knowing this you hang onto the few times when what you did or said put a gentle smile on their face or captured by their gaze and countenance toward you as they revealed their love and hope in you.
When you see the children locking their gaze on you in, as a simple thank you, it makes all of the hard duties you have performed for them throughout the day seem to fade away like a passing breeze. They give the smallest of gestures back to you and it’s enough to keep you going for another day.
So for all of you that have had the joy and privilege of being a part of the life of a disabled child, I would like to say thank you, thank you, thank you. You are rare in this world and are cherished not only by the charities for disabled children or the many children you care for, but mostly by God. Those things do not go unnoticed by Him.
At Ambassador Ministries, we have been blessed to be a part of working with disabled children and consider those times as our most precious and personally rewarding. We want to encourage everyone reading this article to consider what they can do, even if it is only a little bit, even if it seems insignificant. Believe us when we tell you, you will never be the same or have more joy in your life than when you care for one of these disabled children. Never forget, we’re in this together.
God Bless You.
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