Friday, February 20, 2015

It's World Day of Social Justice. Let's make a dent.

Colón, Argentina: There is something so beautiful about clothes hanging out to dry.
But then again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and everything in Argentina looks
beautiful to me! 
Dearest Readers,

Earlier this week I got a letter from Desy, a Compassion sponsored child in Indonesia who I get the privilege of writing to because her sponsor doesn't have time. Her letter was precious. She told me she longed for "news from your country". She also told me that the price for fuel has risen in her country, and that she has to stand in line in the heat for fuel.

What news should I have sent her of my country? Should I have told her about the Oscars, where the dresses the women wear will cost more money than she'll likely ever have in her life? Amy Adams's ensemble at the Oscars last year cost about 1.5 million dollars. (source) I love the Oscars. Benjamin really loves the Oscars. It's a fun family night for us all. But really?

I didn't. I told her of the record-breaking cold and that we will have Presidential elections next year. Pathetic, I know. But when I scrolled through our news the decadence and privilege of this country we live in smacked me in the face. I told her my plans to go to college, and felt guilt. She's smart. She wins Bible quizzes and is a straight A student. But will she ever get a chance to go to college?

Precious girl in an Argentine orphanage. 
I got to love on so many little ones while at an orphanage in Argentina. I walked around with the above little girl, and she talked non-stop. I think she was just soaking up the one-on-one attention. I understood very, very little of what she said--but I did understand when we walked up to the gates of the property, and she said she wasn't allowed to go past there. She also pointed out the nice cars and said there are often a lot of them coming and going from her orphanage to somewhere. She didn't care that I didn't understand; she was just so thankful for the love. 

Adoption in Argentina is difficult. It is not a Hague Adoption Convention partner, so adoptions are domestic only. You must have been married for at least three years and have no children of your own. If you prove to a court that you are physically unable to have children they might consider allowing you to adopt before you meet the three year anniversary. The latest data I can find on adoption statistics for Argentina is 2011. There was one adoption in 2011. The next year I could find data for was 2009: again, one adoption. Both times it was a little girl under five years old. (source) The girls I played hide-and-seek with for hours were much older than five. 

Today is the World Day of Social Justice. There is no justice in those statistics. There is no justice in the fact that one of those Oscar dresses could provide Desy with all she needs for the rest of her life. The lack of justice in this world breaks my heart. 

A bike ride at the orphanage

I wish with all my heart that I could start a home for every single unwanted child in Argentina; I want to shower love on them everyday of their lives and listen to them chatter on and on. I want them to know how loved they are and to take them to church at La Puerta Abierta and to give them opportunities and dreams and the whole world at their fingertips. 

I wish Amy Adams would forego the expensive dress and opt for one from Target and give Desy all of that money she was going to spend. I wish Desy didn't have to stand in line for fuel in the heat. I wish she could dream and plan to change the world without poverty restricting her. 

I wish, I wish, I wish...I wish a million things that will never happen. 

We don't have to just sit by and let it happen, though. I might not be able to gather all of Argentina's children in my arms, but you know what we can do? We can answer the call God has laid on all of our hearts for orphan care. 

"Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world." ~James 1:27

Visit the orphans. Go on a mission trip with your church. Sponsor a child through Love without Boundaries so they can get the life-saving surgery they need. Send diapers to Maria's House of Hope in China, or become a prayer partner and receive a monthly email with a new child to pray for. Pick a child on Reece's Rainbow to advocate for on Facebook, your blog, or at your church. I know none of these options allow you to care for an orphan in Argentina, and I'm so sorry. I can't find anything like that, but will keep looking. 

You know what you can do for the orphans in Argentina, though? You can pray. Pray everyday. Pray that their government will change their adoption laws and allow more families to adopt. 

And for Desy? She gets money from her sponsor each month that, while not as much as Amy Adams's dress, gives her opportunities she wouldn't otherwise have. It pays her school fees, as well as the cost of her uniform. She is able to attend a church-based program that gives her Christian counsel and encouragement, and the chance to learn about Jesus. She gets medical care and is taught daily living skills. Our sponsored child continually tells us that his mother thanks the Lord daily for us, and that he loves us so much that he prays daily that the Lord will allow us to meet face to face someday. He is so full of love. The sponsored child/sponsor relationship is so precious. 

You can give another child that opportunity. While it won't change the fact that they live in poverty, it will give them a chance to rise up out of that poverty. You can partner with Compassion to give hope to a child here

This world is cruelly unjust, but we are called to make a dent in the wrong. How will you make your dent? 

Your Blogger,

"For the needy shall not always be forgotten, and the hope of the poor shall not perish forever. Arise, O Lord! Let not man prevail; let the nations be judged before you!" ~Psalm 9:18-19

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