It's difficult to put words to our experience yesterday. Our team went to Girolla, an orphanage for children with special needs. Honestly, I was hoping to go with the other group to help with construction. I was unsure whether I would actually be able to help the special needs kids in a way they needed. But God had a different plan for me.
We arrived at the gates of the orphanage, which were opened to greet us. We were taken on a tour of the grounds. The gardens were lush and green with beautiful trees and playground equipment. The walls had fresh paint, vibrant murals and hand made flowers hung from the ceilings. There was so much love ad care being poured into this facility. It was once a Catholic orphanage, but now it is run by the sate to house children with severe disabilities which require full time care.
One boy in particular stole my heart. I was asked to break out my guitar to play music for the kids. I played songs around the room until my attention was taken by a boy sitting alone with his walking stick against the wall. I could tell that he was blind, walked up to him and began to strum. His face immediately lit up and he started swaying back and forth, feeling the music. I took his hand and ran his fingers slowly down the strings. There was a sense of comfort in this moment and a deep connection through the music. The music ran in and through him and seemed to give him life. I began singing "How Great is our God" as he tapped the beat on the glossy face of the guitar. He couldn't get words out, but hummed along in worship.
This moment gave me a new understanding of faith. This beautiful boy has no sight, yet he overflows with an abundance of joy and peace. As North Americans, we constantly ask why bad things happen to us. Things like phones not working, our cars breaking down or even small injuries, but these children live every day with immense struggles. This boy lives without sight yet finds joy in the smallest things. A simple strum of a guitar or a tap to make a beat. A song to sing to the Lord.
Some people may look at these children's' lives and think that they have no purpose here on Earth, but God used these children to change each and every one of us. I know we communicated through the language of music and this boy changed my heart forever.