I was recently out and about for my pre-dawn run. I love watching the sun emerge in all it’s brilliance as a new day dawns, rich in all its possibilities.
In our neighbourhood that day, it was the quarterly council clean up. The streets were full of abandoned household goods in all shapes and sizes. In many places it spilled out over the footpath, making the morning run rather hazardous as I high jumped over lawn mowers and lounges!
At some point, these goods had been purchased with great plans as to how they might enhance suburban living and somehow make their owners lives more convenient and comfortable. And now, here they were tossed out on the street, abandoned for the garbage collector to come and dispose of unceremoniously.
So much waste….
It made me think of the very real problem of ‘abandonment’ that exists in Nepal.
The thing is, though, the abandonment problem in Nepal does not involve unwanted household appliances. Most households wouldn’t even know what a lawn mower was, let alone own one to throw away!
Abandonment in Nepal speaks of unwanted children.
Children left in villages. Children discarded on the side of the road. Children dumped outside orphanages.
Which leads to children at risk of abuse, domestic slavery and trafficking.
It is a heartbreaking and thoroughly confronting reality.
I have meet such children. I remember meeting one young woman, just 19 years of age who was looking after her three younger siblings. Her parents had gone to India for work leaving her with the responsibility of providing for her brothers – putting food on the table, keeping them in school, nurturing their souls. They had not heard from their parents for over 18 months. You could see their unanswered questions in their eyes.
I heard about another lady whose husband died leaving her with three young children. She could not put food on the table. When she remarried, her new husband did not want the responsibility of another man’s children. Faced with starvation or the chance to live, she made the heartbreaking decision to abandon her children, leaving them on the side of the road. I can not begin to imagine how torturous that decision must have been for her. I don’t sit in judgement on her, as much as I can’t get my head around it. I weep for her. I weep for her children. I weep that such choices even need to be made.
I used to think that if IMM could rescue just one child, that would be amazing! Now, having looked at their beautiful faces, having heard their devastating stories, I want to rescue them all! More than that, I want to change this cycle of abandonment. I believe God has divinely positioned IMM for ‘such a time as this.’ We are taking ground in the name of Jesus!
I guess the reality is that rescuing the abandoned children of Nepal really does start one child at a time. That’s ok….today is a new day, rich in all its possibilities and there are children to be rescued.
Janelle Payne is IMM’s Administrator & Child Sponsorship Coordinator