Friday, November 4, 2011

Meet The Lost Boys

Finding the words to tell this story eludes me.

My emotions spill over as I try to write down all that is happening and all that needs to happen.

Our Lost Boys.  The ones we left behind.  The ones who sit day after day on benches and in empty rooms with nothing to do.

The boys Aaron lived with for a year of his life.  Boys who are tall in body but young in mind.  Boys who can't walk or talk.  Boys who know nothing of the world outside the walls of the institute.  Boys who have given up.  Boys who lie day after day in their cribs staring at the ceiling.  Boys lost and hidden in a village in the middle of nowhere. 

Through some major opening of doors by God alone, after we came home last year, we were put in touch with a Christian ministry team (Slavik and Alyona) who were willing to add the Lost Boys to their already long list of children they minister to in the orphanages, mental institutes and prisons in their area. 

In December they walked through those green gates for the first time.  Though they were only allowed to bring in some supplies and do little more than make initial contact, we rejoiced.  We raised support money.  We praised God.  The door had opened.  But only for a moment.  The Director dragged her feet to let them back in.  Time and again they would call and request a visit but each time they were denied. 

Finally, at the beginning of July, seven agonizing months later, they were allowed back in.  In an effort to let the Director know how much they cared, they took with them a whole host of gifts and much-needed supplies for the boys.  Three air conditioners for the boys in the laying down rooms, diapers, fruit, and medical supplies were part of what they brought.  All this paid for by those who have been quietly donating to the Lost Boys. 

On that visit they were able to visit the 'highest functioning' boys.  Those who were in the 'best condition'.  Though they were met with suspicion and nervous acceptance, they were able to do a puppet show with the boys.  They had someone dressed as a Tiger and he was definitely a big hit.  Finally, they gave each boy a small gift.  We were given pictures of that visit but told we could not share them.  It broke our hearts to not be able to let the world see the precious boys who stole our hearts.  But we were hopeful.  They had ministered directly to 20 of the boys. It was a huge step and we brimmed with hope. 

Unfortunately more months passed and honestly, we despaired.  It is so hard to watch other families who are entering other institutes just as we did and who are receiving warm and open welcomes.  It is hard to sit back and bite nails, wondering if our boys will ever see the light of day outside their sheds.  It is hard to wait over here with no news and no way to move things faster.  It is hard to sit and pray and long and give, hoping and believing that God has more in store for our Lost Boys across the ocean.

Then two weeks ago we received an e-mail.  Alyona and Slavik had been allowed back in.  Again they showered the institute with gifts.  Again they were able to minister to 20 of the highest functioning boys.  Again they had the opportunity to share with the boys and the caretakers about Jesus.  And this time the reception they received was open and warm.  The atmosphere was different and the invitation to return has already been extended.  They have already been invited back.

They were invited back.

The director wants them to come back.

The caretakers talked to them, shared their hopes, dreams, their desires for the boys. 

God is moving the mountain.

Slowly.  Oh so very slowly.  Bit  by tiny bit.  The mountain is moving.

They sent us video of the visit.  I am allowed to share it here.  On the video are some of our Lost Boys.  The highest functioning boys at the institute.  Though you can't tell in the video, several of the boys can't walk and very few of them can actually talk but they are precious, precious boys.  A few of the younger boys are new.  They have arrived since we left.  It breaks our hearts when we study the pictures and look at the new faces.  We wonder where they came from and whether they are available for adoption.  At this point we have no way of finding out.

I cry each time I see the video.

I bawl when I see the pile of gifts.  There are toys in that pile.  Toys for our Lost Boys.  Toys that the caretakers promised they would give to the boys.  Building blocks.  Coloring books.  Playdough.  Meager by the world's standards but for the boys across the ocean, unbelievable treasures. 

For 2 hours this year.... TWO HOURS.... 20 of our Lost Boys have had a chance to listen to stories, to receive small gifts, to color, to laugh, to hear about Jesus.  Two hours in ONE YEAR.

It is meager.  It is pitiful.  Thousands of dollars have been donated for those TWO SIMPLE hours.  But look on their faces.  See their joy.  It is a start.  A huge start.  The need is desperate.  The despair behind those gates is overwhelming but for TWO HOURS this year 20 Lost Boys were held, cherished, loved.

Please pray.  Pray that the gates will stand open.  We have so many hopes and dreams for these boys.  Our hearts long for ALL the boys - all 110 of them.  We grieve that only the 'best' were allowed to attend but for now we rejoice.  God IS moving.  The forgotten boys across the ocean are NOT forgotten.

If you desire to share in this ministry - all donations, large and small are welcome.  Again, what has happened so far may seem meager but in reality - the money donated has helped bring in MUCH-NEEDED supplies as well as communicated to the people inside those gates how much we truly care about the boys.  Just the fact that the boys in the laying down rooms now have air conditioners is a HUGE blessing.  With a budget that allows for no extras, the fruit, drinks, diapers - they are priceless treasures. 

The caretakers WANT to have things for the boys to do.  They requested that Alyona and Slavik bring crafts and hands-on activities for the boys to make.  They want them to come back.  They invited them to come back.  We want to do everything in our power to assist the ministry team each time they do go back.  Every time the ministry team makes the trip it costs them $125.00 US in gas alone.  Please consider donating.   For those who are donating monthly - THANK YOU SO MUCH.  Your gifts are NOT wasted.  You are making inroads into a facility that has been closed since it was built.  Thank You.  Thank You!!  The information for donating to the ministry team is on the right sidebar of this blog.  Please.

As far as the video goes - Please do not remove it from this blog.  You are welcome to link to the blog from your blog or from Facebook and Twitter but please don't take it off the blog.  I assured the ministry team that we would treat it with utmost care.  If you don't understand why - just read this blog post from a few months ago.  It may help enlighten you to why we share the video we have been gifted with extreme care.

Thank you for watching.  Thank you for caring.  Thank you for praying for the forgotten boys across the ocean.  These are a few of the boys Aaron lived with for a year of his life.  These are the boys who sat in the shed and empty room with him.  These are the boys who called me Mama when they saw me.  These are the boys who looked with longing each time we walked into their world.  These are the boys in our Sad Reality posts.  These are a few of our Lost Boys.  They hold a special place in our hearts. 


  1. Amazing. So very sad and yet promising. I cannot watch the video just yet, you understand - I can't let myself go there. The pictures are enough for me to sit in awe of the amazing things being done. May God bless Alonya and Slavik.

  2. Crying, again. What a beautiful video of those precious boys!

  3. I also want to thank you Julia!!!

  4. The faces of these boys are now etched in my mind. I feel God moving in MY heart. Beautiful. Each and every one of them. I feel desperate. It isn't fair. No longer are they unloved, longer are they forgotten...

  5. Julia, you are doing a good work, and God IS using your faithful obedience! It is like you've been laying siege to an enemy stronghold. Despite all the emotions of discouragement, you hung on and didn't quit, and now look what God is doing! Praise Him! And thank you for not giving up, even when it looked hopeless.

    I also want to tell you that I understand a little of the emotions you have gone through, because the story of Katie's orphanage is far from being over yet.

    Despite the miracles we witnessed in Katie's orphanage the week we were there, which I have not spelled out publicly, what I expected has come to pass. Almost 40 of the 55 available SN kids there have never been listed with the gov't, making them available for adoption. Their files have either been stuck in the social services, who should have listed them with the gov't shortly after they entered the orphanage, or their parents never signed off their parental rights. So it LOOKS hopeless, too, and will require a lot of hard, patient work over a long period of time, with no guarantee of the outcome. But we KNOW it is not hopeless, not even for the children who are approaching the age of 16, when their chance of being adopted comes to an end. Like you, our hope is in a God who is on the side of the afflicted, and we know that He is asking us to keep praying and working and not to give up, even when it looks impossible.

    Sending love,

  6. I'm bawling! I will continue to pray with you and praise God for the small avalanches He's allowing to crumble down the mountain! I love Alyona and Slavik and their continued service to the orphans - a living testimony of Christ.

  7. Thank you Julia. I said goodbye to our son at Katie's orphanage this morning and I needed some encouragement. I understand how it drains something from your very core to write about your lost boys. I will be trying to put my experience in words when I get home. Right now I just have an iPod and you understand what it's like typing on that. Praise God for His work with the list boys and for the miracles that are yet to come.

  8. Thanks Julia, for sharing. will continue to pray for the lost boys

  9. Wahooooo! They were invited back! He's on the move. NOTHING is impossible with God.

  10. Just beautiful. what a blessing, what a tiny little peek into their world. Thank you for shouting, they are worth every tear.

  11. TWO PRICELESS HOURS!!! Praying for many more to come. Praise God, praise Slavik and Alyona, Praise you Rob and Julia for advocating for these dear souls needing so desperately to know how much Jesus LOVES them. I love the smiles at the 40 second mark on the video. Many tears of joy and pain all wrapped together reading and watching the video.

  12. Bawling. God is good and there is more to come.


Loving words from kind people make our hearts glad!