Dave Gullett

a miscellanea

James 1:27

The other Tuesday afternoon, we had the privilege of visiting a very special place. Nestled in a small neighborhood in Tomohon is a refuge for the unfortunate and the unwanted.

The Orphanage of Nazareth is home to over one hundred children, from little babies and toddlers to school kids and teenagers, who literally have no other place to go than the street.

I cannot even describe the bright smiles and the delight in the dark brown eyes of dozen of faces when we arrived. We were welcomed like long lost brothers and sisters, with such joy that it breaks my heart to tell you of it.

A few of us gathered with the older kids to make some crafts and spend some time with them. I and another guy took the younger school kids and tried to spend their energy doing what they love…playing bola kaki…soccer. And a couple of us went and played with the little kids and visited the nursery.

Playing soccer with those kids was an incredible experience. They take it so seriously, so we began to clown around, falling, kicking the wrong way, whatever…to make the kids laugh…and such laughter, like ice cream on a mid-August day…just delightful.

After the game, we wandered over to where the preschool kids were. Wide-eyed and adorable, these little guys didn’t at first know what to do with me. But when I took off my ball cap and said “Saya tidak ada rombut.” (figure it out) a few of them cracked up and we became friends. I sat down against the wall and let them crawl over me. It just might be the most fun I have had in this country, and certainly some of the greatest joy. And it was very hard to walk away, when it was time to go.

The children of this orphanage, unlike many others you might read about, are loved and cared for. They have a home, not just a shelter. They have school and are taught the Scriptures. Those that had no chance are given an opportunity…not just to “become somebody” but to choose to follow the truth, to follow God.

We met the gracious couple that parents the older children; they have a devotion to God and to the children that is wonderful. They were so welcoming and grateful for our visit.

The visit is a highlight of my time here in Tomohon, but also a sobering reminder of all the other children, especially the street children of Jakarta, that are not so blessed as these. Children that beg to keep from being beaten, or that are rented out to professional beggars or that merely beg to stay alive. Children that don’t have a home, that are not loved and aren’t ever given a chance to hear the Truth.