Being swarmed by beautiful African children is something that has become the norm as we visit the kids and families that we work with. Most of the children we serve desperately crave a loving touch from someone who cares. The children love to touch our western skin and it’s not uncommon to have five to ten little hands stroking our arms, face and hair. These are always such sweet encounters for us as ORR staff.
Jenine Grey, one of ORR’s Seattle staff on a recent trip to Africa.
Through different experiences with the children we serve, I have learned a few things that has brought out a new understanding of the compassion inside of me. One is that I realize that I take it for granted that I don’t cower when someone reaches out to touch me in a caring way.
One telling experience was with a new child on our program. I reached my hand out to lovingly touch this boy’s shoulder, sitting in front of me, and he instinctively jolted his head backwards in a cowering manner. My heart sank as I looked into his petrified eyes. I quickly apologized and reassured him that I was not going to hurt him. I was so saddened by the fact that this young boy had clearly been severely beaten and abused, and that he thought my touch would bring harm upon him as well. Sadly, this is the outward sign that we see in children on a regular basis who have been mistreated on so many levels.
The children we work with have come from incredible abuse and neglect. It usually takes months, and for some, years to get the healing they need to recover from such trauma in their lives.
We have seen that The Human Touch has the power to
destroy through abuse, or the power to heal through a
loving touch and adequate care.
Through our programs, we are helping to facilitate the healing of hearts, body and spirit. With our “Break the Silence” program, we are empowering kids to know what a loving touch looks like and what abuse looks like, so that they understand there is a difference.
The children pictured below are some of whom have come from unbelievable abuse and who used to cower away when we would reach out our hand to touch them. They are walking through incredible healing due to our amazing God, ORR staff, and the many of you who are facilitating these beautiful stories of healing and restoration through your partnership.
Thank you for directly effecting the beautiful changes in these specific children, and the many others who are not pictured here. We are daily humbled by you and by these incredible kids.