It Feels Like a Prison

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My name is Tracy Beard. In 2004 I founded an international children’s non-profit called A Touch of Hope. I supervised A Touch of Hope for seven years until 2010. During those years I saw and experienced many things in many different countries. I would like you to take a moment and go on a trip with me. Imagine if you will. It’s warm outside. You get off a bus and find yourself standing in front of a huge iron gate. The cement walls are 25 feet high with barbed wire running across the top. It looks and feels like a prison. The gates open and you go inside to a courtyard filled with children.

These children are not smiling and playing; they are just standing there looking at you and your group. Their size indicates that they range from four or five to maybe twelve years old. You begin to approach the children, candy in hand; and looking closely, you can see that there are both girls and boys in the courtyard. The children are rather indistinguishable, and not one child has hair on their head. All heads are shaved.

Walking around you see that many of the children have scars upon their heads. At one time those scars must have been horribly painful, but now they are just a memory. Several children sport fresh wounds. What these children have experienced is unspeakable. You follow the worker and walk up a flight of stairs.

Sixteen babies live here. There are a few cribs. Some cribs host more than one child. Not one child moves when you enter the room. Empty eyes follow you as you cross the floor. There is one woman there. She washes their laundry, changes their diapers, and feeds them. You notice a little girl sitting on the floor. She looks to be about two years old. You pick her up. She doesn’t move. She is limp in your arms. Holding her and hugging her, you tell her how much Jesus loves her and how beautiful and special she is. Half an hour goes by and you wonder who left this child as you gently rock her back and forth on your hip. She never makes a sound, and she never takes her eyes off of you.

It is now time to go, so you gently place her back on the floor. Slowly her arms reach up for you, but you have to walk away. Her big brown eyes fill with huge crocodile tears. There is no sound, not even a whimper. You walk away as the tears roll down both her cheeks and yours. You leave knowing it could be days, weeks, months, or even years before someone else holds this child again. How will she ever know she is loved?

Today, you have just visited a government-run orphanage in Honduras. Oscar, the leader and house parent of a Christian orphanage in Honduras called World Wide Heart to Heart Children’s Village brought my team to this orphanage. Oscar visited this orphanage for years and recognized the abuse. Today, the government-run orphanage is no longer in business. Many of the children now live in the Heart to Heart Village.

If you go visit these children today, you will find them laughing and playing. They go to school and they feel loved. They learn that Jesus loves and cares about them, and workers and house parents treat them with dignity and grace. That one government orphanage is now closed, but there are others. Children need to be cared for with love, not brutality. If you would like to make a difference in the life of a child in Honduras, contact World Wide Heart to Heart Children’s Village and find out how you can help. Tell them Tracy Beard sent you! To contact World Wide Heart to Heart Children’s Village: