Prayers That Avail Much Goes Traveling
Jesus Loves the Little Children
By Germaine Copeland and Lane Holland
It was November, 2006, and the prayer team and I were preparing for another day of touring. Rising early, as is my custom, I open the drapes. The tree just outside my widow is awash with the rain that heaven is pouring down, and I make mention of you in my prayers as I watch the raindrops dancing on the paved courtyard below.
My prayer turns to the people of Morocco, and I pray for God to rain down His righteousness upon this nation, I give thanks to the Lord Almighty because He is compassionate and gracious; slow to anger, abounding in love. Meditating on the goodness of God I become conscious of how much He loves the children of the world and realize that the work here in Morocco is not finished. More than 50 years ago two brave American women came to the Middle Atlas Mountains in North Africa to interact with the people and tell them about Jesus. Through a series of circumstances the Holy Spirit revealed that they were to open their doors to unwanted babies. The Haven continues today as a safe place for Moroccan children.
The Children’s Haven
“Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world…..” so the song from Sunday School goes. It was never more evident than when we spent time with the children in The Children’s Haven and the Village of Hope in Morocco. I believe God gives special grace to those who lay down their lives to serve the most vulnerable among us, and this was most evident among the workers who have given their lives as a gift to these children.
Lane and child at The Haven
In both The Haven and The Village of Hope we are privileged to see lives that have been transformed by compassionate love. We were the recipients of hugs, giggles, questions – “Do you have a dog?”, “You wanna race with us?”, “I’m six, how old are you?” We were also inspected from a distance, peered at around corners, and followed as we are given tours of the two facilities. I watched the children as they watched us, and could only marvel at the sense of family and support that has developed among them. In each facility there are couples who have taken on the responsibility of parenting a group of children.
They may have anywhere from six to eighteen children in one home with ages ranging from several months to adolescence. Some of the children are related, but most come into the ‘family’ alone as a result of abandonment. The miracle is to watch as care and love shapes the life of a child into a productive member of their society.
Christ left a model for us to ‘bless the children’ in the narrative found in the gospel of Mark:
- “And they brought young children to Him, that he should touch them: and His disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, He was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God…..And He took them up in His arms, put His hands upon them, and blessed them.” (Mk. 10:13-14;16 KJV)
The workers at the Haven and The Village of Hope actualize this passage by providing a safe environment. They also bless them with education and mentoring. They bless them with touch, and listening ears, and arms that enfold them when they are troubled. They bless them with words of encouragement and hope. The names of both facilities do exemplify their mission for the children we met have a safe haven and a community of hope.
One translation says that Jesus was ‘pained’ by the response of his followers to the children that were being brought to Him. As I remember the faces of the children and hearing from the workers what their lives would have been like if these homes were not available caused me to think if we have ‘pained’ the Lord in our neglect of the least among us.
As I write this piece I am remembering the conversations with some of the workers who envision so much more that will be done as others come alongside to help expand their vision. They have an enthusiasm and energy that is infectious to the observers that if the heart is sensitive, quickly become participants. The options are prayer, service and giving.
I encourage you to visit the websites of Village of Hope (http://www.voh-ainleuh.org/) and The Children’s Haven (http://www.macarthurs.net/index.htm) and consider in which way you can bless a young one and gladden the heart of our God.
Lane Holland, M.Div.
As we were leaving we thanked God that He had sent those who are rescuing and loving the children. My soul is thrilled when I view the picturesque pastoral scene; the sheep with their shepherds reminding us of the Good Shepherd who loves and cares for His children; the sheep of His pasture. I pray the people of Morocco will hear the voice of creation itself and call upon the name of the Lord of lords and the King of kings.
Village of Hope
Copyright © Germaine Copeland 2007