Since April 8th, 2010, I have had this thought in my head. I've never written about it here, or anywhere else. It was weeks before I was even able to tell Dean about my experience.
It was the day I was in the dying room in an orphanage in Eastern Europe.
It is a fact of life that everyone dies. It is also a sad reality that many of the hospitals in parts of Eastern Europe will not take those children who are "the least of these"; those with Down syndrome, or severe hydrocephalus, or conditions and syndromes that will cut their lives very, very short. When those children reside in orphanages and institutions (and most of them do in Eastern European countries), and are really in need of hospice care, there is nobody to sit and hold them each day as their body slowly gives up the fight, and the child looses his will to live. When that child lets go to rest in the arms of The Father, they do so alone.
That thought has haunted me ever since.
I saw these children. I cried for them. How I wanted to pick them up out of their crib...hold them...rock them...to pray for them...sing to them the lullabies every child should have a chance to hear as they say goodbye to life here and say hello to Him. To let them know where they're going is better. It's OH so much better there.
I am not writing this to be condescending to anyone. I know that those in charge are doing the best they can with what they have. Every facility is extremely short staffed, and they have to take care of those children who are "living". Until there is drastic cultural change in parts of Europe, I accept that this is just the reality there. It is all I can do...accept it.
So why 300 people?
Although I have to accept that at the moment this is the reality in some countries, I don't have to sit back and do nothing!
Do you know how many children are sitting in dying rooms across Eastern Europe? In my dream, I would send two teams of three people every week for 52 weeks of the year. That way there could be 2-3 people in two facilities at a time. Those facilities would always have someone to be in that room. Every day, for an entire year. During that year no child in those facilities would have to be alone in their dying. They could die with dignity and love.
Who could do this? Who is physically, emotionally, mentally AND SPIRITUALLY strong enough to do this for a week?