After 36 hours of travel, I had finally moved my bags into the room on the six acres of property that I would call home for the next fourteen days. Once I was all settled in I took a step on to the grass and began walking toward the main building at the orphanage, in this tiny village of India. 95 degrees, 100% humidity, I couldn’t tell if I was profusely sweating because of the weather, or because I was nervous to meet kids with horrendous life stories and experiences, that didn’t speak the same language as me. My guess is that it was a little bit of both. Never-the-less, I took in a deep breath of the wet air, and began to venture.
I had taken maybe 3 steps and I heard him screaming loudly. “UNCLE! UNCLE!” I thought to my self, he couldn’t be screaming for me. He was yelling as if he had laid eyes on a family member he hadn’t seen in ages. As I got closer to the building the yelling got louder, “UNCLE, UNCLE!” I got to the steps of the building and there he was, standing at 4ft zero inches tall, with a smile as bright as the sun. “I am Monoj” he said as he stuck out his hand. Shaking his hand I replied, “My name is Jordon.” He took my hand, “Jordon Uncle, come.” We ran, skipped, played, and laughed, we didn’t speak the same language, but I guess the language of joy is universal. I had been at the orphanage for maybe 20 minutes, and an 11 year old boy was already teaching me something: How to experience joy in the simplest of ways.
Jordon Uncle would be the name I went by for the remainder of the trip, and joy would be a recurring experience. Yes, we experienced joy at little flock, it wasn’t a mere feeling in a moment easily forgotten, it was an experience so monumental, the kind of experience that permeates your entire being, and for the entirety of that experience, your heart and mind are completely captivated within it.The kind of experience you never forget, an experience that sticks, forever. Sometimes at night I would stay up wondering how the fragrance of joy could be so potent on this piece of land, in the middle of a village surrounded with so much pain. I mean, if anyone had actual reason to be unhappy, angry, or simply and constantly sad, it’s these people, but they just aren’t.
One day I was painting a cottage that the kids live in. One of the boys, Cartick, was helping me and I asked him, “Cartick what was your first night at little flock like?” The young boy paused, then hesitantly, he began, ” Uncle, I have another brother. My mom can’t raise all of us herself. I come to little flock in 2nd standard, but my mom keep my little brother. When I come here I do not understand, and many nights I cried.” I had no words. Trying to avoid eye contact I continued to paint, thinking to myself: Cartick is one of the happiest kids i’ve ever met, what if I were in his shoes? What if my single mom dropped me off to be raised by complete strangers and have a copious amount of foreigners visit me every year? Cartick broke the silence, “but uncle now I love little flock. when I am home visiting my mom, my mind, and my heart is at little flock.” I looked at him and smiled, fighting back tears, and he looked back and smiled even bigger. We didn’t exchange any more words, but we didn’t have to. In this moment I realized God is using little flock to save these kids lives. Little flock restored hope for Cartick. It gave him vision for the future, it gave him purpose. One day Cartick wants to be a police officer. If Cartick never came to little flock, he would never go to school, he wouldn’t always be provided nutritious meals, he wouldn’t have heard about Jesus or the Gospel, and he would never believe he could ever amount to anything. When Cartick was dropped off at little flock, he was scared, this was the last place he wanted to be, but now, it serves as a beacon of hope, a safe haven, a place he calls home.
The trip wasn’t exactly all smiles and laughs. Reality sank in as we began to learn more about the kids. Children, who had to witness their birth parents being burned to death, and new children at little flock who didn’t fully understand why they are even there yet. There was a point in my trip where I became overwhelmed with the brokenness of it all. Everyday I taught volleyball to the kids, we even built a new court, one of the boys in particular, fell in love with the sport, and he was rapidly improving. However, I soon came to the realization that Kumerasin will never wear the jersey, he’ll never experience the “big win”, he’ll never have a team huddle, or the memories collected during team bonding events. All the things I took for-granted my whole life, he will never experience. I remember crying out one night, because it’s just not fair, my life is significantly easier simply because I was born in a different place.
I dwelled in this feeling of brokenness for a couple days, then I went back to my journal entry from day one, where I was reminded of Manoj, I went back to the time I experienced a sort of joy I have never taken part in before. And I realized, these kids, they get it. That doesn’t take away from the tragedy or the brokenness of it all, but God has renewed their joy, and their hope. They have a family at little flock, united in love. They definitely don’t have the best of everything, but they make the most of everything that comes along their way. I was blessed to be welcomed into their family.
I tell you the truth my friends: God takes broken situations, and turns them into beautiful master pieces. If I learned anything it is that God is sovereign, and even in the darkest, most tragic situations, He is working, He is breathing hope into the lives of the hopeless.
Little flock you will always have a special place in my heart. I have been home for two months and I can say the same as Cartick. I am home, but my mind, and my heart are at little flock.
Peace and blessings,