21 May 2010
About one year ago, we received a new little boy into one of our children's homes. Bidham's mother had abandoned the family years earlier, and his father was severely mentally ill-- so much so that he could not even feed himself and was given to bouts of violence. Bidham was small for his stated age, certainly under nourished and emotionally withdrawn. He spoke a tribal language that no one in the home could speak or understand. Over the summer of 2009, he learned a working knowledge of Nepali and was showing good interest in the Bible and worship time which happens twice daily. In September, he was killed when a delivery trucked backed over him, crushing his skull and spreading brains for more than 2 feet. I arrived within a half hour of his death and sat in the road by the body as the villagers gathered. They were preparing to riot and attempt to take the driver to beat him to death or as an alternative, burn him alive in the vehicle. The police surrounded the truck, but could not move him to safety because of the bonfires planted by the villagers fore and aft the truck and it was certain death to try to walk him out. I was caught in the tear gas as police tried to control the angry crowd. Today, when I visited the home, I looked into a near duplicate of Bidham's face as I met his younger sister, Asha. She had been living with a grandmother, who could no longer care for her. Like him, when he first came, she cannot speak Nepali. And like many village kids, she was afraid of the foreigner who wanted to take her photo. Petrified, she stood against the wall, tolerating the procedure. An older girl held each of her hands as they oriented her to her new home and environment. I slept in a corner bedroom on the third floor. I was comfortable and safe. So was Asha. I'd had a good dinner. So did Asha. I had taught the devotion time for the children. I began by asking for favorite Bible verses. Child after child stood to recite in English. Asha will learn here-- learn things that can make an eternity difference for her. Asha-- her name is the Nepali word for HOPE.