Last night was very special. After dinner I normally say goodnight to the children, go up stairs, and prepare all the teaching material I will need for the next day. But last night I was delayed a bit and as the teenagers finished their nightly chores they came and sat near me. They began to ask me questions about a number of things, Christianity, life in America, what it’s like to fly on a plane or ride in a boat, my family, the church, all kinds of things.
And they opened up to me as well. They shared some of their thoughts and dreams with me, some of their silly stories, and some of their exploits here at Beracha House. As I listened to them open up their hearts and just be kids with me, I was so thankful to God. I came to love them all the more. They are cherished in the sight of God for he has a special place in his heart for the orphans and the widows. I can’t tell you how privileged I felt to be part of their lives, it seemed that I was standing on holy ground.
Two of the stories they told me will, I’m sure, stick in my mind for some time to come. The first has to do with when they were building up Beracha House. One of the boys was working with the hired men all of whom were Hindus, and one of those men began to say that the leader of Beracha House was British and intended to come in here and steal all the land. He told this boy that she was only showing love to deceive them and that they should leave right away. But this boy, far from being persuaded, began telling the man that he was wrong. The man pushed harder but this boy raised his voice and rebuked the man strongly! Get the picture in your mind: a ten or eleven year old boy rebuking a full grown man for telling lies! Wow, that was the power of God pulsing through him.
The Hindu man was never persuaded and neither was the boy, so the boy just walked away and told what had happened. Later a local pastor spoke with this man and assured him that the leader was, first of all, not British, and second of all, not interested in taking everyone’s land. To this the man replied, “I was only trying to test the boy’s love for the leader.” Yeah, right!
I cannot tell you how deeply the faith of this young man, now thirteen, touched me. As I said before I left, I came here to love and protect and serve these children but I knew then, and I certainly know now, that they will teach me just as much if not more.
The second story had to do with a time when everyone had to evacuate the property for their safety. Some people in a nearby church wanted to stir up trouble for Beracha House and so they made some threats and the leader of that church thought it best to have everyone leave. And so all of the children, from eighteen to two years old, along with a couple of escorts took taxis to the train station and then rode the train for several hours to stay with a pastor in the north. The leader of the ministry went to Thailand.
I asked the children, “Was that pastor nice to you,” and immediately they shook their heads no. No one even met them at the train station. Over twenty children with just a couple of adults had to wait there for quite sometime and finally they came. When the pastor found out that they arrived he said, “Oh, you came.” They put the children in a new building which looked nice but was filthy dirty. They gave them sheets and such that were horribly soiled and not fit for use. They provided them with meager food which they had to prepare for themselves and dishes which had never been cleaned from the last meal at which they were used.
So, how did the children of Beracha House act, our children? Just like Jesus Christ, in fact, it’s bringing tears to my eyes as I write. They did not complain. They gave thanks to the pastor and his helpers, and they began to clean. They cleaned everything. Windows, walls, floors, bathrooms, dishes, sheets, pillows, the porch, and the exterior of the building. They found wildflowers growing in the area and so they carefully removed them from the ground and planted them around the building. They did many things to both clean and beautify the place, and every day they gave thanks to God and the pastor for the little food and water they received.
At the end of two weeks, they offered their thanks again to the pastor and made the ten hour journey back to Beracha House because it was then safe. And not only that, they invited the pastor and his people to visit Beracha House sometime.
They told me, “Pastor Charlie, if they come here, we will treat them very kindly. We will give them the best places to sleep and make them good food and much tea.” Oh Beloved, this touched me SO DEEPLY, to see Christ living in these precious, chosen ones and so humbly displaying his love to those who were far less than kind to them.
How I praise God for these children, and for the leader of this ministry who has nurtured this kind of faith and love in them. The Beracha House is indeed a house of blessing and I’m so grateful to be here.