As I was preparing for our trip, God placed a song on my heart. It’s called “Give Me Your Eyes” by Brandon Heath. The chorus is my prayer for the trip.
Give me your eyes for just one second
Give my your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken-hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see
I pray that I can step back from all the hustle and bustle, the busyness, and the noise to see who God sees in these orphans and their caregivers. Believe me, when you are with 75 children, orphanage staff, 4 other travelers, and 5 translators, there is an abundance of noise. The first noise we experienced upon our arrival at the orphanage was a standing ovation. It was humbling and heartwarming to know they had been looking forward to our visit as much as, or more, than we had ours. God’s love was poured out on us from the very moment we stepped into the orphanage.
I pray that I can love these children and their caregivers with all my heart just as God loves each one of us. It’s hard to get to know someone when you can’t speak the same language and the interpreter isn’t always right there. Thankfully, some of the children speak more English than I do Russian. I know how to say thank you (spasibo) and that’s about it!
I pray that when I wrap my arms around these children their broken hearts are mended just a bit. I feel like I am being given an extra special opportunity to hug the ones who are usually far beyond my reach. I am thankful for being able to take this trip so I can put my arms right around them.
I pray these children know that they are not forgotten. I pray that they know they are precious, loved children of God because of the journey we travelers took to see them. All the letters and gifts we brought with us will be signs of our love for them that linger on even when we are back home going about our usual routines.
And when I hear that song on the radio, I’ll think of my new Russian friends and pray for them. May God’s eyes, arms, and heart extend through me and live in me so I may spread God’s love at home and in Russia.