Saturday, November 8, 2008


One of my favorite parts of coordinating Lighthouse trips is getting to see the transformation children undergo during their stays in the United States with their host families. It doesn't matter what state the child goes to; what matters is the compassion and special attention they receive on their trip. On the Tulsa November trip, that transformation was best exemplified by Andrei, a child initially at risk of not even being able to make the journey.

Andrei, age twelve, is doing well in fifth grade, where his favorite subject is math. He knows the English alphabet, which he learned at one of the orphanages he's lived in. He likes cats. His favorite food is milk soup, and he also likes barley. He would like to have a career as a driver, and he wishes for a cell phone. He knows some prayers taught to him by believers who came to his orphanage.

This sweet boy had two prior opportunities to visit America on Lighthouse trips but was unable to actually come either time because no host family could be found. Thankfully, we found a host family in Tulsa so at long last Andrei had the chance to at least be seen in America. While here, he visited a pediatric ophthamologist and was diagnosed with ptosis, or a droppy eyelid. The doctor said a minor outpatient cosmetic surgery easily available in Tulsa would correct this. Andrei's vision was corrected to 20/20 with the cute glasses he got. His host mom told me that on his ride home after getting his glasses, for the first time he didn't want to watch a movie in the car since he was so excited to be SEEING outside!
Andrei has a family currently praying about adopting him. They were able to spend time with him while he was in Tulsa, and if the sweet pictures I saw were any indication, it appeared they hit it off together. While I am happy that Andrei is now able to see the world clearly with his glasses, I'd be over the moon thinking about the life he'd see through the lenses of a family's love. I was deeply touched by this boy and I can't stop thinking about him or praying for him.