There is a Children’s Home
in Belmopan, Belize (Central America). It was founded and is directed by a lady
named Leonie Gillham. She is also a Mother to the children who live there, who
add up to more than 50. Responsibility for her large family’s food, clothes and
education also lies on Leonie’s shoulders.
Finances for the Home come from a couple of different sources. The Government of Belize makes their regular input that covers approximately 20 per cent of the Home’s needs. Individual donations are
the major source of funding but they are unpredictable as this funding is dependent on personal resources and a willingness to give. The question was once asked of Leonie, “What do you do when there’s no food to feed the children?”; she answered, “We pray”. This is the kind of devotion in which
Leonie lives her life and shows to others. It is with this attitude of humbleness that she gave the name to the orphanage King’s Children Home, consecrating the house, the children and their care into God’s hands.
For several years now, Paul Uffindell from the Maritime Conference of Canada brings his family and a group of believers to visit these children at Christmastime. The team spends time playing with the
children, helping with usual workload in the Home, and doing regular home maintenance and repair. Other people send money or gifts or actually travel to Belize to spend time at the Home as volunteers.
This past Christmas I was thrilled to be a part of this team for the first time. Being at the Home for three weeks, making friends with the teenagers who live there, having fun with little kids and
being a part of somebody else’s life was so different from just giving
some money “for a good cause”!
When you hold a 7-year old girl on your lap, when she embraces her hands around your neck and happily smiles to the world around her; when you see a parent or older friend’s guidance — trust and
friendship is what she really needs in order to grow up into a healthy and happy young girl…
When you see a boy jumping, joking and singing, and you ask him whether he gets attached to anyone (for different groups come and visit the Home once a year or once in a lifetime) – and he
answers, “No, I don’t get attached to anyone, never”…
When you paint the walls in the orphanage, and smaller and bigger children ask you, “Can I paint, too?”, and you can see that all they want is to be a part of the team and to feel appreciated and needed…
When your team takes the children to a park or the city, and it is your responsibility to take the smaller children, one or two each, so that they don’t get lost, and a child approaches you – they chose
you, you didn’t chose them — and they reach their hands up, “Can I go with you?”, — in their eyes you see hope and the fear of rejection…
When you experience this, something turns inside your heart, and you start seeing the world in a different way, in another perspective. It definitely changes something in you.
We – you, the whole world – and me are one large family. And “family means that nobody is left behind” (“Lilo and Stitch”).
Lord, the seeds that You planted in my heart, — help them grow and bring forth fruit for
Marina Shcherbak & Sheila Uffindell