When I saw the contrast between their faces and feet, I couldn’t help it. “We will …. ” But first, let me give you some background:
In Ha Giang Province, a mountainous region that borders China, neither homes nor schools have heat. In response to a request from the Provincial Education Department, an Orphan Voice scout team visited the Province in the early winter. It was 29 degrees Farenheit on the morning of the team’s visit. The Ha Giang economy is a semi-barter one, with many families trading vegetables, which they have grown, for their neighbor’s meat, which they have hunted or raised.
Secondary school children go to boarding schools located in larger towns, usually far away from the children’s villages. The deep, ragged valleys and lack of roads don’t permit easy travel. As a result, the schools double as orphanages. Kids visit their homes during the summer and school holidays. The scout team investigated several facilities that day.
The children were cold. Most had runny noses. The scout team recommended to Orphan Voice’s central office that we provide winter coats immediately. Thereafter, a second Orphan Voice team soon departed Hanoi with 350 good quality, heavy coats and some thermal pants.
That’s when I noticed the contrast between their faces and feet. Their faces beamed with smiles, but most of their feet were wet, cold, and partially exposed to the weather.Their plastic slippers had an open, mesh pattern. For many, the low temperatures caused the plastic to harden and crack–and the children’s feet were cut or rubbed raw–some with visible infection. More from the heart than from the head, I immediately said: “We’ll return with good shoes and socks for all the children.” We were able to do that!
Like me, look at those faces and look at those feet. The picture here is representative of children living in the Highlands every winter. We do have the opportunity to participate in His work to bless “the least of these.” $20 will purchase a good quality, winter coat and shoes. To make a designated gift for shoes or a general donation, click here.