It’s called Myanmar Agape Orphanage. This lead me to believe they brought in orphans. During my first visit in February 2015, I soon realized I was mistaken. Though there are kids there that lost their Mom & Dad, and with no extended family able to take care of them, many of the kids only lost one parent or even had both living. There are many factors that bring the kids there. Most is because of severe poverty. Their families just can’t take care of them. Sometimes, sadly it is because of drug or alcohol addiction.

That’s not the only aspect that makes this Orphanage a bit strange. The nationals that run the orphanage have a much bigger vision than simply helping kids that are in a hard spot. They have an eternal perspective in mind. They give the kids more than a home to sleep in and food to nurture them. And, though they labor to get them the best education possible to help end the cycle of poverty, the root for why this orphanage exists goes even deeper.

You can get a picture of it at 6am in the morning. It is then you hear the sounds of 100 or more children not just singing, but singing with deep heart conviction to their God. As I walked to see them, the singing turned to praying. Finally, entering the room where they were all praying, as I looked around I didn’t see any of the workers – not a single adult. These kids woke up on their own to sing praises to Jesus and pray. They pray for the sick among them. They pray for their country. They pray for their schooling. And, they pray for Calvary church. It is absolutely humbling hearing 100 kids from 5 – 18 praying so fervently for God’s will to be done.

That is why this orphanage exists. To raise up a generation, that apart from being at the orphanage, would be walking in darkness. They give this kids the light of Jesus. Jesus gives these kids a vision to shine that light brightly in a dark country. I’m thankful for this hope they give the kids and the vision they give them.

On my first visit one girl in particular stole my heart: Faybee. She was a beautiful sweet 12-year-old, and was so thankful to have someone that could spend extended time with her. Once home my family quickly agreed to sponsor Faybee. We would write notes that we exchanged with the workers on Facebook. We prayed for her and she prayed for us.

Though my wife wasn’t looking forward to the long flight there, this past March she was eager to meet Faybee in person. That week with her was so special. We enjoyed her company and even got to do a video call with our kids to hang out. As we “adopted” Faybee into our family, you can imagine how devastated we were when we learned she returned back to her family a month after we left. Faybee’s father had died over 10 years ago, and for the past 10 years she and her brother were in Agape Orphanage because her Mom could not afford to take care of them. Now that they were older, they could be of more help and assistance to their Mom and remaining family.

Though we shed tears that we might not ever see Faybee again or even hear from her, we also quickly came to realize this is the hope of Agape Orphanage. To plant the love of Jesus and the gospel light in the kids, and as they go back to their hometowns and even families, they would bring that light and love of Jesus with them. We will greatly miss Faybee, but we pray for her daily. Knowing, she has a hope for her family and town that they desperately need.