The Deceptions of What We See
In these first 3 photos, you probably notice that the children are not very clean. If you pay fine attention detail, you may notice frayed, dirty clothing. You may notice an absence of under garments. Cinder block walls. Dirt floor. You see that these children need help. And they do. If I could hand select these specific children to be beneficiaries of the work that Beautiful Feet Global Outreach desires to do, it would be simple. It would be these. They need everything. They need food, clothing, medications, and education. The various times I have visited with these children, all things above were not part of their lives. They are living in tragic circumstances. But we can't help them. Why? Because the person overseeing their care is not interested. It is that simple. He is motivated by greed. And these children will die because of it.
What you will see in these next 3 photos is a much nicer image. But it is deceptive in many ways. You see beautiful young women and men in these photos. They are clean and they have on cute clothing. (I brought them much of what you are seeing (cute shirts for the girls!). You see that they are happy and closely bonded. What you do not see is that they do get to go to school - most of the time. Their fees are costly and they are required to wear certain uniforms, but God continues to provide for them. You do not get to see that some of these precious ones are infected by HIV, but they are receiving their medications. It does seem that life is good. That is where you are deceived by the images. Life will cease to be this way for them when they complete their O levels (aka high school). When that happens the government forces them out of the orphanage they live in. Sure, they have some cute shirts to take with them. And they will have a piece of paper that shows they completed school and that they have good grades. And that's all. Nowhere to go.
The big difference in the first orphanage and the second one is the care of the leadership. You can clearly see in this second scenario that the orphanage director loves these children. You can see it in the photos, but I have seen it in person since 2008. She gave up her very good job to create an orphan ministry, consisting of 4 orphanages (spread out geographically) and a school for the teenagers. These are the kids who actually might have hope for changing lives in Africa. They are so incredibly smart, full of joy and hope, and they are desiring to live for Christ. These children want to be pastors, or go to college, own businesses, play football and be artists. But they can't if someone doesn't help them. Because their pieces of paper showing their good grades and their 2 sets of clean clothing will not keep them alive in a system where there is no system. 13 of these kids are already out facing this as a harsh reality.
You may see the first group as needing the most help. That is not as easy as it may seem. The efforts have been there for years and still no acceptance from the "leader". The second group needs love, hope and help too - but with the great possibility that it will make an incredible impact and a huge difference, not only in their lives, but for the eternal Kingdom.
This is why we want to develop training centers for these kids to learn a trade and increase their chances for earning a wage.