Everyone loves children. Babies with wide grins and googly noises delight everyone. Little girls exert their feminine charm all around them. Excited little boys full of hope with pockets full of rare treasures instill confidence that there will be a future for mankind. Families love these kids and God loves them too.
Not all children are that fortunate. Invisible children live around the world. Maybe you never saw them, but their tears of quiet desperation are real.
Around the world
Homeless children live in many places in America, victims of the economy or their parents’ choices. Children of migrant workers follow the crops with their families, traveling from place to place to keep up with the growing season.
They also include the child widows of India and Nepal, and orphan children in China. Children are afflicted with leprosy or AIDS, caught in cruel civil wars, tote guns in an army, or slowly starve. You see their skeletal bodies and haunted eyes on telethons for child help organizations. Some step on mines and lose limbs, so many suffering children that no one sees. Many die before their time, unseen.
Children orphaned in China are considered non-persons and are invisible. No one sees them or adopts them because they are not there. Often raised in institutions, they are attended by insufficient staff, which leads to neglect. Many starve for human touch and stimulation. Some come to live as orphans and grow up and die in the institution.
The lucky ones come to the attention of foreigners who adopt them and give them a much better life. Most do not and live desperate, wasted lives, never attending school, never learning any skills, and never daring to hope.
According to several Internet sources, widows in India have three choices. They can marry their husband’s brother or live lives in social isolation and denial. The third choice is now illegal but still happens rarely. They can throw themselves on their husband’s funeral pyre. These girls/women are often honored as saints.
Some child widows are as young as five, trapped in marriages arranged by the families. They face a bleak future.
What can we do?
Everything we do makes a difference. Cuddling a child or rocking a baby in a hospital helps to meet his need for touch, basic to survival. Praying for a child changes his life because prayer makes things happen.
Touching a life, one life at a time, helps fulfill the Bible’s commandment to love one another.
- Sponsor a child through one of the organizations trying to save these little ones.
- Volunteer to help out in orphan homes overseas.
- Let Big Brothers and Sisters pair you up with a child for mentoring and fun on a weekly basis.
- Friend a child near you, perhaps that of a relative or neighbor.
- Schools often need volunteer tutors.
- Foster parents care for children abused, neglected, or abandoned by the parents.
- Consider adopting an “unadoptable child.” They still need loving homes.
Jesus loves the invisible children of the world. Will you touch the life of one today? How about tomorrow? A child is waiting.
Photos from Wikipedia Commons
Street children of Kolkata
Woman with baby-Myles Grant