Sunday, August 2, 2009

Response to "Orphan" Horror Movie

Warner Brothers new horror movie Orphan proclaims that it must be hard to love an adopted child as much as your own. But what does Warner Brothers know about love? What do they know about orphans?

Any of us who spend time with real orphans can tell you that the rewards of loving an orphan are great. This is where the lessons of faith and love are learned.

There's Stella, who held on to my arm for two full weeks last fall. Her smile and her laughter were infectious. Betty taught us to dance and to sing. Mariam patiently showed us how to make chapatti. John, now grown, works tirelessly to help others. I love the children we're serving in Uganda.

So often we think about orphans in terms of what they need from us, but I would not be who I am without the influence of one orphan in particular - my grandmother.

She was orphaned by the time she was five. Both of her parents died of Tuberculosis in the early 1900's. She lived with extended family, and dropped out of school with a 4th grade education. When she married and had children, she completed her own education by reading and teaching herself from her children's school books.

She labored on the farm, at church, and at home, and when her husband died in a mining accident, she moved the family to Virginia. She worked at department stores and managed ice cream shops and taught her eleven boys to be hardworking, responsible, thoughtful men.

These men fought in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. They've pastored churches, managed businesses, and raised strong families. Now their children are doing the same. Her room was next to mine, and I heard her prayers for her children and her children's children and for the generations to come.

Grandma's story gives me hope for the children of Uganda. I see their future, and it is bright - full of family and friends and love. These children will grow, with God's help and ours, to move the mountains of poverty and injustice.

If you've got an orphan story, share it with us - let the voice of love be heard over the rattle of cliche story lines and cheap thrill film making.

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