After spending the last three days absorbing the physical and emotional burdens associated with disaster relief, I was more than relieved to be invited to a special prayer send off service for some of the orphans at the hospital.
One boy in particular caught my attention. Franz, a 12 year-old boy, was orphaned during the earthquake. He had been a patient at the hospital for a while and was told earlier that afternoon that he was medically stable and had to be transferred to an orphanage. This meant leaving the only two friends he had made at the camp and once again being completely alone and stripped of all safety and security.
During the service, he kept staring into space. His eyes were dark brown abysses, devoid of life and hope. His stare was the most blank look I have ever experienced, and I am certain it will remain with me always.
Yet, I am continually amazed by the resilency of the patients, especially children such as Franz. They have learned to accept suffering as a way of life and somehow manage to thrive in these conditions. I can only hope to have an ounce of their strength, should I ever be faced with such seemingly insurmountable challenges.