Little Seth’s precious face is forever engrained into my mind. I remember going to the orphanage the first day in Pietermaritzburg full of emotions- excitement, fear and apprehension were just a few of the feelings I was experiencing. As we pulled into the gates, kids swarmed our two buses. When we got off the bus, it was as if we were a celebrity. They hugged us, touched us, loved us, and wanted nothing more than for us to do the same to them. I truly believe each child there had the face of Christ illuminating from their dark skin and piercing brown eyes.
Seth was different from the other kids we met that day. Seth was different because he was handicapped. He could not walk, talk, or have control of his bodily functions because his mother had HIV- AIDS and buried Seth and his older brother alive due to hallucinations when he was no more than a few months old. Thankfully, the village people of Sweetwaters were able to save Seth and his brother; however, Seth was left with severe medical complications. Though Seth could not talk, he said so much through his sweet face.
I held Seth that first day and didn’t let go. My heart hurt and physically ached for this innocent victim. I didn’t know I could become so attached to a child I had met only minutes before. I remember spending the night in the orphanage one night and waking up the next morning to play with Seth and the other younger kids. Seth had to take an unbelievable amount of medicine, and he cried as he took each pill. I cried alongside him for the pain in His eyes and also for each child that I wanted to take home with me.
My heart continued to hurt, and I found myself asking God why he would allow a child to endure so much when he did nothing to deserve this life. I couldn’t sleep worrying about the future of Seth and who would take care of him and what would happen when we left. Would anyone tuck him in? Would he have someone to love him despite his physical limitations? Would he know Jesus and how much Jesus loves him? Questions plagued my mind and the more I spent time with Seth, the more I questioned God as to why evil and hurting must exist. Why couldn’t he live in America where he could receive all of the medical help he could want or need? These questions flooded my mind.
I vividly remember a moment towards the end of the trip as I was asking God
these questions, and I felt the Lord say, “I don’t need you to take care of Seth. I love
Seth, and he is Mine. I am going to take care of him and you need to love him now and in the days to come, but entrust him to Me. I’ve got Seth taken care of because he is My child.”
It hit me like a ton of bricks. The Lord loves me and he loves each and every child in South Africa, and he has got each child in the palm of his hands. And he has me in the palm of His hands. HE is in America, and HE is actively at work in South Africa. The Lord used Seth to show me his deep love for not only each person I came in contact with during my stay there but to also show me how deeply he loves and cares for me.
A few weeks ago I was checking the Facebook page and there had been a video posted earlier that day about Seth. Two physical therapists have devoted their entire summer to working with Seth and a few other children. SETH HAS LEARNED TO WALK! I wept at my computer screen as I watched this child walk for the very first time and squeal in delight. Surely the Lord has answered the prayers of many people and most importantly, surely the Lord has not forgotten any of His children. He has cared for and loved them deeply. I cannot wait to see the progress Seth makes throughout the summer. Though he probably will never know the impact he made on my life, the Lord used Seth to show me he’s got the whole world in His hands and I’m forever grateful for that.