Music, Culture, and Covenant Life
I’ve been processing my trip to Guatemala for the past week (OK, I’ve been physically recovering from the sickness I caught there, but I’ve been thinking too). I felt like this trip was a game-changer for me in some ways, but I’m only now really working on how to articulate why I feel this way. Right now, I’m beginning with some of the seed ideas that were planted on the trip. Here’s one of them; let me know how you respond to it.
"There were so many broken ideas that came with the orphan care system of Guatemala when we started the children’s home five years ago." Kenneth Sese, the director of Hope For Tomorrow Children’s Home, sits with us between training sessions, patiently leading us into the culture of his employees so we can better meet them where they are. At this point in the trip, we are just starting to catch glimpses of the systemic problems that complicate every aspect of orphan care for even the best intentioned workers in Guatemala, as well as some of the huge strides forward both H4T and other orphan care specialists are making there every day.
"One of the largest lies we had to overcome was the lie of the short-term solution. Most orphanages treated kids like they were short-term stops for kids as they awaited adoption. Younger kids were usually taken over older kids, and even then, the thinking was that kids would only be there a few months, maybe a year, tops. Long term goals like education, health screenings, care for those with special needs - these kinds of things were pushed aside because the real goal was for a kid not to be there long enough to actually need those things.
"But what happens when you have a kid who goes unadopted? A kid who is seen as too old, or who isn’t wanted for some reason? They sit in an orphanage or children’s home and miss the kind of long-term care giving they need to flourish, even to survive, because the system itself doesn’t think with that kind of care in mind. We’re having to introduce the idea that we should treat kids like long-term family members and not just temporary house-guests."
(NEXT - My thoughts on this concept…)
Dad Joke Dog #4 (previously)