Update!! Proud to share that Naomi is about to start the next leg of her journey as she received her license to open her girl’s home today!!!
This weekend, my husband and I have had the honor of spending time with a dear friend named Naomi. I call her a dear friend, although, our first meeting took place less than 24 hours ago.
You see, before last night, Naomi was simply a Facebook friend. Our common ground stopped with our mutual affection for children and our affinity for my husband Marshall who has been friends with Naomi for a number of years.
I knew a little about her. Things like:
- she does mission work in Guatemala at an orphanage
- she’s from Canada
- she lived in North Carolina for a little while
- she used to work in a NICU at a hospital
That was it. Oh and I knew the reason for her visit to the United States was to help raise funds for her new adventure in opening a new orphanage.
But that is where my knowledge of this amazing gal ended.
Until today at lunch when we asked her to share a little about her new adventure in opening an orphanage.
She started by sharing about the culture and belief in Guatemala that if your child is born with any type of disability be it physical or mental that someone, the mother in most instances, MUST have done something wrong.
As a result the moms are often deserted by their husbands and almost as often the children are deserted by their mothers.
She continued by sharing that these dear children are hidden away in hospitals or in the instances when the children are not abandoned, they are kept tucked away in the home never to be taken out or embraced by the community.
After spending 3 years in Guatemala immersing herself in the language and with the people, and serving in various capacities in two different orphanages, Naomi is following God’s leading to open her own home for disabled children.
It is her plan to take in 1-2 children at the beginning but ultimately grow this home to 8 children living with a physical disability. She, with the help of others will love them, care for them, teach them ways to care for themselves and give them opportunities to live life.
Now. That is something we take for granted here in America.
I thank God for the smart, giggly and perfectly healthy baby that God gave us 17 months ago.
But what if he wasn’t.
What if Dominic was born with severe cerebral palsy? Or was blind? Or deaf? Would Marshall have left me? Would my family members thought that I had done something terribly wrong to deserve this unhealthy child?
Would I have left Dominic at the hospital?
We know the answer to all these questions. NO! Would we have wondered why our sweet child was born with this disability. Would we have wondered what actions we could have taken to ensure a healthier baby? Things like eating more vegetables. Not missing a dose of my prenatal. Of course. But abandoning my child would have been out of the question!
Culture dictates a very different story in Guatemala, however. And this is a part of culture that Naomi so desperately wants to counter.
She hopes as these children grow, are cared for, take trips into the community where people can see them as the beautiful perfect children of God they are, that a spiritual ripple will flow through the small community; and from there to neighboring areas. She prays these children will grow into young adults who can find their way in the community. And they will be embraced by a very different culture than that from which they were brought into the world.
Naomi’s dream is HUGE! But so is her heart. And with the love and support of friends like you and me who may have never met Naomi (or in my case has personally known her for less than 24 hours) we can help her fund this thing.
So how do you get involved?
Follow this link for more information and this one to make a donation and make a commitment. I’ve recently learned through this book that encouragement extends beyond words into authentic action. Put back a few dollars each week. Get your Bible study group on board. Have a car wash! Be creative. But please: put your encouragement to work and watch Naomi’s dream unfold.