Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Reality

Below you will find very troubling pictures of the reality that these children face each day. It is now time to get it out there and tell it like it is. The time has come for these children to be rescued from this. As precious and cute as these children are, they face a reality that none of us can imagine. Most all of them are malnurished and many of them need surgery for hernias and cream for scabies and so on.

Now let me show you.

This little one below can barely function on her own. She sits and stares and most everyone leaves her to tend for herself except an occasional child who will say something to her.

They pulled water from this well that they had just explained was not sanitary.....
And then drank from it.

Some of them have open sores all over them.

Many have belly buttons and stomachs that protrude due to malnutrition.

Then there are some that are just skin and bones.

This little girl, below, we fear could be pregnant. She is 12 years old.

My heart is about to burst with so much to say that I'm not sure I can put it all in this blog. I had many pictures to post but now can't get the rest of them so I will post with what I have on here so far. Again, I am going to put this story out there for the sheer purpose for you to pray for everything going on here in order to get these kids out of their current, horrible situation.

The first time we went to visit them, I just can't put it into words. I have a video to show if I can ever get it loaded. We pull in and you just hear all these little voices start screaming with joy. They all start running out with great big grins on their faces, jumping up and down with excitement and race towards us, wrapping their arms around us as if we are super stars and as if they hadn't seen anyone in months. I asked one of the older boys how often they get visitors and he told me never. And I can honestly say that by the looks of these children and the circumstances they live in I don't think anyone with a heart has ever found them or they would not still be living in this situation. It was by pure chance of the Lord's direction that Erica and Tina found them several months ago and all roads since then have led to this hour of relinquishment.

After word got out that we were trying to get something done for the children in order to help them get out of their current living situation, things changed. The next time we went by there it was just eery. We saw the children peering at us from inside but they looked scared this time instead of happy we were there. No one would approach us, in fact, they were running from us. We later found out by one of them that they had been threatened that if they talked to us at all that they would get beaten.

To just give you an idea of these sweet souls I will tell you some instances from the past couple of days....

the first day we arrive to visit the children a young boy about 10 years old comes up to me and tugs on my arm. He is saying something to me but i can't hear him so I lean down to listen. He was saying "I need your help." I said, "What can I do for you, sweetie?" He looked right into my eyes and his little eyes filled with tears and he said, "My father is dead, my mother is dead, I have lived here my whole life and I need your help." Well of course, my heart just broke for him. I wrapped my arms around him and hugged him and told him that I would help him. The look on his face as he stared at me and trusted me, a complete stranger, enough to tell me that, will lay on my heart forever.

I can't explain how love starved these children are. They just want a touch from us and it makes their faces light up. There are so many and they cling to you so much that it makes it difficult to interact with all of them. So I would just reach out and touch their cheek in a loving manner and they would get the biggest grin on their face and always turn to their friend as if to see if their friend saw that they had been touched.

The older children especially are the ones that break my heart because they are old enough to dream but yet understand their reality. One little boy age 13 was so smart and would speak to me with such gratitude and had so many questions about America. His eyes would light up as he would ask...."Do they really have lots of games in America?" "I have heard that they have chocolate factorys in America. Do you think you could bring us some chocolate?" He then asked me if he could be my friend and then told me I was like a mother. He would just hold my arm as he would speak as a son would do with his mother for security. He has dreams of being an accountant he told me and of coming to America one day. The whole time he talked with his other arm draped around one of the younger boys as if he was his protector. They both stood there with thier eyes as big as quarters as they left their reality for a moment in order to dream and talk with me about America. They then asked if we would be back tomorrow. They all sang songs as dusk was approaching which echoed so sweetly all through the village, into the air. The more we applauded, the more they sang....and their songs are always about Jesus. Jesus is the only hope they have here and I have found that scripture is correct by saying He is a father to the fatherless. These kids know nothing of hope but Jesus. And now God has sent us to be the hands and feet of Jesus. God loves these children and does not want to see them suffer any longer. We ask, "God how can you let this happen? " We get so mad at seeing it and want it changed for these kids so bad......which is exactly why we are here. God is using that passion that lies deep within every woman on this trip and has called us for such a time as this. It is these children's hour and now is the time to fight in the spirit for them from your end while we struggle to get them set free on our end.

There is one little girl that only sat as if crippled and mentally challenged with a blank stare when we first arrived. By the second day of just us interacting with her she was walking with assistance and smiling and trying to sway when the kids were singing. These kids need love and interaction. They need to be treated like humans and not animals. They need to know that they are a treasure and not a burden. They need a chance to live their dreams.

Below are some pictures that I was able to get loaded There are so many wonderful pictures of these children that capture their personalities, the deep stare that they all stare right through you, the joy of them while they are with us and many other amazing shots. But then there are also the ones that show the harsh reality of the situation in which they live. I have chosen to post some of those on this post in order to show you how bad they need prayer. The amazing thing about today is that these little ones who have been lost in the darkness for so long will now be lifted up all over the world because of this blog and the others on our trip and prayer will go up and literally change their destiny.

There are so many children that your mind just can't take them all in as you try to see their little personalities try to break through the realities of their lives.

The children here,above, are eating their meal of rice for the day. They have no spoons therefore they eat with their hands as best they can. We have been told by one of the children there that they sometimes go days without eating. We were also told that sometimes the son of the woman caring for them who is an older boy will put a plate of rice out in front of them and then make them fight over it for kicks to see who would end up with something to eat for the day.
The way they are treated is unthinkable. It is literally like animals as you will witness in the pictures below.

You will find the above picture and the ones below so heartwrenching that it is beyond words. This is yet another example of how these children are only living just above animals. Out back in their play area is a broken down hut of some sort that houses bowls that the children use the bathroom in. All of the children are made to use the bathroom here while the indoor plumbing in the house with at least 2 bathrooms is left for the adults and they lock it and hide the key. The smell is just horrible, not to mention the condition the children are left in when they tend to themselves like this on their own. There is no toilet paper at all nor running water for them to use. Then when they run out of bowls to eat in because they don't have enough, guess which bowls they go and fetch and rinse out to eat out of.

Rather than let them go in to the bathroom the adults willingly let them live in filth. She came over and thought she was doing it justice by rinsing it with water while I took the picture.

No child should have to live this way. They don't even realize the horror of their situation judging by the sweet girl below who poses so sweetly in front of the bowls filled with diarrhea.

They have been stripped of their decency as human beings.

What do you say after witnessing something like that? I am speechless and so sad for this precious child that she doesn't know that she is worth more than this.

This face above is just one of the images I am left with each night that I leave those children in a place that seems to have no love in sight. These are faces that you just can't get out of your mind as you lay down each night in a bed with a pillow and blanket. I end with her story below.

This was one night after we had been with the children and it had gotten dark. This was right before I had to hand her over after we had bonded for at least 30 minutes. She was about to go to sleep on me after I had been rocking and singing to her when I had to hand her back to the care taker who immediately put her tiny little exhausted body down on the ground and told her to go upstairs in the house. She didn't say a word, just rubbed her tired eyes and started to walk up the stairs alone. It was pitch black dark out but I saw a little boy that looked no older than 5 come up to her and grab her hand and led her inside the pitch black dark house with no electricity in order for her to lay her sweet little head down on a cold floor with no blanket or anything to sleep for the night. I looked in the rooms earlier and there is just nothing but some occasional foam on the floor which smells of urine that they pick up from outside.

A sweet friend just sent me a comment with this scripture on my last post that I shared with our group last night while we prayed. It sums up and confirms what this is all about. "I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name." (Isaiah 45:3) us help them!!!! We need your prayers. This is their reality, this is what we have witnessed. Now we are held accountable for what we know and then what we do about it.

We have a center ready and waiting for them with food, beds, blankets, clothes, bathrooms, and everything they need, with the most important being, LOVE. There are also those in this country who aren't taking the necessary steps in order to free them of this misery.

Now the rest is up to God. Thank you for your prayers.

Proverbs 24:12

Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act.


  1. Tina, Erica, Katie, Emily, Cari, Kelly and the rest of your team. This is what God lead me to this morning and what I am praying over you today! We love you and are praying w/o ceasing for the release and rescue of these precious children! Rest in Him!!!! He is our hope and our strength!

    A verse God gave me to pray over you today! "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit - Romans 15:13" We are fervently praying without ceasing for God to move and use you mightily. Keep the faith and rest in Him! Jesus move in and bring justice. By and through the blood of Jesus, we bind the enemy. You have no power over these lives. Spirit invade and move! Bring these children home, today Lord, today!!

  2. Reaching out to you --with God's love. Oh, sisters...Today God laid on my heart as I read Karson's emails--God is not in the chaos--listen for the still voice--still and strong and pure and sure within the noise.He will direct your EVERY step."He made the world to be lived in, and not to be a place of empty chaos.I am the Lord, he says, and there is no other.I publicly proclaim bold promises.I do not whisper obsurities in some dark corner.I would not have told the people of Israel to seek me if I could not be found.I, the Lord speak only what is right.(IS.45;18+19)AND "Get up and prepare for action.(everyone who is reading this!!)Go out and tell them everything I tell you to say.Do not be afraid of them, or I will make you look foolish in front of them.For see, today I have made you strong like a fortified city that cannot be captured, like an iron pillar or a bronze wall. You will stand against the whole land--the kings,officials,priests, and people of Judah.They will fight you but they will fail.For I am with you, and I will take care of you. I the Lord have spoken!" (Jeremiah 1:17-19)Love,Gillian

  3. I'm so grateful for this blog. These faces now stay with me every night. For an hour and a half in the middle of the night last night I lay in bed, unable to sleep, with the images of these beautiful children on a cold, hard, floor with no one to run to for comfort from a bad dream, a gurgling tummy, a painful sore. Rest assured that God is stirring a deep love for them in people who have never even heard their voices or looked into their eyes for themselves.

    Please continue to let us know how we can help. in any and every way.

  4. Praying for you all! What heart ache! God is doing a mighty work in and through you.

  5. i just got caught up on your updates. i type through tears. i am praying for you, your mission in sierra leone, and those dear children. god WILL accomplish his purposes, but it must be so agonizing to see all you are seeing and wonder what is going on and how it will come to fruition. thank you for letting those of us back in our cushie homes know what life is like for those children. we need to know. we need to act. so glad you are standing in the gap on their behalf.

  6. I thank you for taking the time, energy and effort to post this blog and do what you are doing. I can so relate to the comments about the children just sticking with me, about waking in the night to pray for them, about thinking of them every minute of my every day. Our lives and hearts has been transformed by your work in Sierra Leone. My husband and children ask for daily updates on our little Lucy and the other children. I hear my children praying for her. I see the pain in my husband's heart over their conditions. And to think just a few months ago we had no idea who these children even were! I can't help but think that those commenting here, following this blog, following God's leading, will eventually be blogging together about the beautiful children the Lord has brought to us through adoption or sponsorship! Christ has already prevailed on the cross. That battle is won. There is no doubt in my mind that this battle will also be won in Christ's name!

  7. Praying for miracles for all of the children and strength and wisdom for you all! THank you so much for all that you are doing for the children! You are on my mind day and night! Here's some words to a song that I heard yesterday on an old cd. It really says it all

    Jesus hear my prayers.
    I wanna see the lost come home.
    See the broken lives made whole.
    Jesus hear my prayer
    I wanna see the sick made well
    See the world find love that's real
    Jesus hear my prayer
    I wanna see the hungry fed
    See new lives rise from the dead
    I wanna see your Kingdom come
    I wanna see your will be done
    Here on earth just like it is in Heaven
    Now is the time for salvation
    Jesus hear our prayer
    I wanna see the broken made whole
    Jesus hear my prayer
    I wanna see the sick made well
    I wanna see your Kingdom come
    Now is the time for salvation

    Praying tons and God BLess you all and the children

    Love Heidi Schafbuch