When hearing the word "orphan" or "African Child"... people think certain things: "poor" ... "hungry"... "hopeless"... "sick"... etc. For myself, I've let go of those adjectives and actually, I don't even like referring to our children as "orphans and vulnerable children" because that's really ONE descriptive of a MILLION others about that child. I see how it can change their mindset, and keep them in a cycle of negative thinking.
We've been trying very hard to challenge our children with their strengths, with what they can do to give back... rather than just receive. In my mean mommy voice I sometimes say "Stop thinking 'poor me' and start thinking I'm a blessed, smart, important, child of God who can change the world around me."
Some of them are getting it.
Like Shadrick. He's 10 years old, but about the same size as Zack, who is 6. When he was born, he was born 3 months early and should have never lived. Well, that's just not Shadrick. He's a strong... and determined little boy. And beyond that, He can read like no other in 4th grade.
But Shadrick has found that they way he can give back is to pray. Before Shane and I left for the states, Shadrick prayed a prayer to bless Lifesong and our travels.
Upon our arrival back to Zambia, we learned that a very special friend who writes him often (probably for their shared love of books) ... named Mrs. Purple... had her husband in a severe car accident. When Shane told him, he weeped. (It's Biblical to weep with those who weep... love the heart I see here). Afterwards, he led his class in a prayer for "Mr. Purple". He continuously prayed for his healing and for Mrs. Purple to be strong. God is answering his prayers.
For Shadrick, it was learning to think about something other than his own hurts, his own problems, and focus on giving something he could to someone he loves dearly... He could offer his sincere prayers. And that's what he did. He didn't sit and think "what can I do from here?" "I can't do anything to help"... NO! He knew exactly WHO to go to, and what to do. He accessed the power of God on behalf of a woman who has touched his life deeply.
(Shad is on the right of Zack in the orange shirt)
Maybe this is one step in his life where he can see that God hears him, that prayer is powerful, and that he can make a difference!