James 1:28 (amp) External religious worship (religion as it is expressed in outward acts) that is pure and unblemished in the sight of God the Father is this: to visit and help and care for the orphans and widows in their affliction and need and to keep oneself unspotted and uncontaminated from the world.
In all my visits here to Fiji, I had not been to an orphanage. Many of the families are extended and children are often taken in and cared for by family while they school. Many times, a child is sent to the village that their parents came from. Everyone in a village is considered a relative (whether or not by blood). I wondered if orphanages existed. After asking some questions, I found out, yes, there are orphanages. Even when I shared that I was going to visit orphans the word did not register as familiar until I explained, children with out parents. They call orphanages Children’s Homes. There are a few on opposite sides of the island ~ Northwest and Northeast sides.
The orphanage I was going to visit, The Treasure House, is located in the city of Ba. It is on the northwest side of the island and I had not been to the northwest side of the island before. The trip to this orphanage takes 4 hours one way, so it is a full day adventure by mini vans and buses.
Treasure House is the upper part of a two story house. I was pleased to see it was neat, clean, tidy and full of the Love of the Lord. This particular house could only have 20 children at a time and usually only children up to 6 years old can be kept for longer care. Most of the children here are adopted out under the age of 3. A love for the children was evident in the staff. Two of the children were special needs. Jenny is a bright 6 year old with downs syndrome. She was into everything, especially sweets. The other child was Ruthie, she was 19 years old and her body was in a contorted position and oppressed developmentally. Ruthie had been forgotten in a hospital for the good majority of her life. 4 years ago she was discovered and moved to Treasure house where she is cared for with love. Treasure house does have 4 girls (pairs of sisters) who are older than 6. The rest are infants/toddlers who are being processed for adoption. The youngest one is a beautiful 4 month old little girl named Rashnisha. All the children arrive at the house from various means. Some are given up immediately at birth, while others are discarded or come from single mothers deemed unfit by the welfare courts.
I have always had a passion to reach the children who don’t have parents with the Love of God to give them a hope for a future in Him. To have them know that even when their fathers and mothers forsake them, He will be their Father/Mother. But I never really thought too far beyond their youth out into their adulthood. I asked the staff about the children who don’t get adopted and the older children who are orphans ~ what happens to them? They explained children who are not adopted and older children are sent to another home either in Ba or Nissouri (the other side of the island north of Suva). The children are schooled and helped find employment by the age of 18. Then they are pretty much on their own. THEY ARE ON THEIR OWN. It was those words that further made known in my heart how important it is to have the love of God instilled in their heart. For these children have no brothers, sisters or extended family known to them. I can not imagine not having a place to turn if I am struggling. The Family of God is vital so they don’t perish in this world. It deepened my passion to reach the children and gave new meaning to James 1:28 and the words: Visit, Help, Care and Distribution of the needs. They need Jesus!
L to R Rashnisha, Esther & Jenny
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