The orphanage smelled musty and damp that July winter day when we were let in through the large antique doors by a matronly worker named Sonja. This being our initial experience in a government run orphanage, we didn’t know what to expect. Sonja led us down a hall past two spacious bedrooms with lots of miniature bunk beds to the dining hall and play room. Scattered throughout the room were twenty four children aged two to twelve. Several were on the floor warming themselves by the fireplace, some were running and playing, others were fighting and screaming.
At the far end of the room was a curly haired boy, bundled in a thick green sweater. He spotted us right away and started running with determination directly toward us while screaming in a loud voice. In the midst of the racket we couldn’t hear what he was yelling until he got closer. “HOMBRE!” he shouted as he reached us and did a face plant into Gary’s legs, hugging him with passion. Gary picked up four year old Mario and immediately had a new friend. In the ensuing hours of our visit, we made many more new friends and stayed warm in the cold building, primarily because of the abundance of physical contact. We didn’t lack for someone in our lap, on our back, or in our arms.
Of all the children we encountered that day Mario left the deepest impression and aroused the most compassion. He stayed attached to Gary for most of our visit and when I (Cathy) tried to connect with him, he growled at me and called me an obscenity. We suspected and later had confirmed that Mario had been a victim of abuse at the hands of his mother. He craved contact with men, (hombres), but wanted little to do with women.
Many life lessons had affected Mario at the young age of four. He had already formed some fundamental beliefs and had emotional and physical reactions based on those beliefs. In like manner, each of us has experienced the effects of life in a fallen world to one degree or another, and as a consequence many of us have our own unique set of established beliefs that are often fueled by emotions, but are based on lies.
These lies can simply annoy us like a tag on a new shirt scratching us repeatedly, or they can cripple us, at times leading to addictions, eating disorders or even worse, suicide. The deception of the lie is that it feels like the truth. Recently a story was on national news about a woman who had suffered from the taunts of her classmates as a child because she was poor. In reference to the pain of what she endured, she stated, “It never leaves you…it stays with you all your life.”
The good news is that freedom and healing are available from the hurts and emotions that affect us and we do not have to continue being victimized by the lies that we have received through painful circumstances and encounters. Those words might ring empty and hollow to some and arouse fresh hope in others. Regardless of where you are in your journey, we welcome you to sample that which has helped us. We pray that you will receive revelation from the Holy Spirit and that He will erase the lies that have hindered you and set you free to become all God has created you to be and to do all He has created you to do.