Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Requiem for Hanson

I don't even know how to write this blogpost. I've been staring at the screen praying, struggling and weeping all morning.

It is hard to put into words how deeply we care for our Lost Boys. Everything in your life changes when you snatch a child out of a world of sheds filled with unending boredom, a world of unseen lying-down rooms filled with lost orphans' pitiful groans. 

Everything changes.
Once your eyes are opened... once they are opened...
Just a few weeks ago we found out that our Lost Boy Hanson died.  Though I already knew in my heart that he was gone, knowing did not lessen the sorrow of his passing.  Hanson died forsaken.
However, Hanson did not die unloved. Hanson was so very loved.
Hanson had a dear friend who learned about him through our 2012 Mulligan Stew fundraiser.
This dear friend donated his hard-earned money for Hanson in 2012, and prayed all year that a family would step up and adopt Hanson.  He was so deeply disappointed when no one did.
When Mulligan Stew 2013 came around, this dear friend donated prizes for Hanson's sake. He also donated to Hanson personally, and begged his friends to donate as well. He showered that little Lost Boy with prayers, love and blessings. His deepest longing was for Hanson to have a family.
This dear friend, who happens to face some of the same challenges Hanson faced, wrote this to me about Hanson in 2012: "I don't think he should stay in an orphanage.  A family is a better thing.  I think I would have been a Lost Boy.  It would be scary.  I don't think I should think about it."

When this good-hearted friend found out about Hanson's passing this past weekend, he grieved deeply. The thought that Hanson died alone was too much for him to bear. He just couldn't let Hanson pass away without doing anything to mark his passing.
Fortunately, this friend's father is a priest, one who also happens to have friends in a nearby Rus*ian Orthodox Church. 
By pulling every heart-string he could pull, this friend has pulled together a Full High Requiem Eucharist Mass for Hanson.
This service will take place in Canada on Friday afternoon at 3 PM, Atlantic Daylight Savings Time.
Hanson's service will include a 15-member choir with singers from both churches. Over 100 people are expected to attend the service, as well as the reception afterward.

Hanson's friend plans to wear a tuxedo.
The music will include Bogoriditse Devo, an Ave Maria by the Rus*ian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff.
 The service will include this blessing:

Give rest, O Christ, to thy servant with thy saints:
where sorrow and pain are no more;
neither sighing but life everlasting.
Thou only art immortal, the creator and maker of man:
and we are mortal formed from the dust of the earth,
and unto earth shall we return:
for so thou didst ordain,
when thou created me saying:
 "Dust thou art und unto dust shalt thou return."
All we go down to the dust;
and weeping o'er the grave we make our song:
 Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
Rob wrote a short explanation of Hanson's situation that my friend's friend will read out loud.  I will share that on Friday. 


The service will also include several well-chosen candles.
There will be five pink candles: one for Dagmar; one for Pearson; one for Grady; one for Porter; and  one for all the other living Lost Boys whose families haven't found them yet.
Pink is the color of love.
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 30520133224 Porter 2013
There will be three blue candles: one for Aaron; one for Judd; and one for Benjamin. Three Lost Boys rescued.
Blue represents the water that washes away the sadness of a former life.
 There will be two purple candles: one for Samuel, and one for Heath. Two Lost Boys whose families have found them, but are still waiting to go home.
Purple is the color of advent, a time of waiting.

 Finally, there will be three white candles.
One for Jonathan Marr. 
One for Hanson.

And one for all of the other unknown, unnamed Lost Boys who have died waiting.
Hanson's friend will light these three candles personally.


Because the service is so far away, few of us can attend in person; but we can still take part.
 A picture of a candle will appear on this blog on Friday. 
My candle will be white for Hanson. For Jonathan.
You can take part too.
Hanson's friend doesn't want just 100 people to remember Hanson and the Lost Boys on Friday; he wants people around the world to remember them too. If you have a blog or a Facebook page, he would love for you to post a picture of a candle there. Add your link to the comments section of this blog so that Hanson's friend can find your candle.

Even if you don't have a blog, please light a candle in memory of Hanson on Friday-- any color, any size. Take a day to remember the boys across the ocean who are Lost without us.
Light a candle for the Lost Boys.


At Hanson's friend's request...
In place of flowers, please donate to the grant accounts of Dagmar, Pearson, Grady and Porter
You can also donate to the team who minister to the Lost Boys as often as they can.  Donate through Harvest International, designating your gift for the Lost Boys.


To know that people around the world care for our Lost Boys means more than we can say.
The idea that two churches would join together in love to remember a lost orphan boy they never met has me completely undone.
Please join in and light a candle on Friday.
Light a candle to remind the world that there are babies across the ocean wasting away in lying-down rooms, motherless and fatherless.

Light a candle for Hanson on Friday.



  1. Precious, tears over here.

    Looking forward to Friday.

    Lord, please bless this precious boy for his love and compassion. He gets it.

  2. ill be there with my candle on fb and blog....

  3. Oh, bless Hanson. His life mattered; even without a family he was not forsaken! And now he is with the one who loves him best of all. I can't wait to meet him one day.

  4. We will light a candle. We will pray.

  5. What a wonderful tribute and way to honor and remember and celebrate precious Hanson and all of the other children. I will be lighting a candle and looking up at the stars on Friday night, and remembering...and saying a prayer.

    Thank you so much for letting us know -

    Susan in Ky
    Cousin to 2 from EE

  6. what an act of love and caring. will join you.

  7. We will be joining you on Friday, Julia, lighting a candle in memory of Hansen, Margaret from our kids' babyhouse, and Leif.

  8. Very lovely. Hansen, the cute boy in the pink shirt. I will add the candle to my FB.

  9. I remember this young man from an earlier post. Please tell him that there will be a candle in Delaware on Friday, for Hanson and all the Lost Boys.

  10. I will honor Hanson and put a candle on my blog on Friday.

  11. What a beautiful post. It touched my heart. We will light a candle on Friday. Thanks so much for sharing this!

    Beth Basilio

  12. Will definitely have a candle at Daily Smiles tomorrow. And I'll post about it so others know this beautiful story!

  13. I've put my candle up early as I will be so busy tomorrow working and don't want to forget. Remembering Hanson and all of the Lost Boys.

  14. I will be donating to Dagmar. My heart just breaks... Kelly



  17. I joined you all in spirit this afternoon. God bless you!

  18. My candle went up yesterday. Such a touching story! Tears flowed.


Loving words from kind people make our hearts glad!