House of Love is an orphanage set in a tiny, poor village just outside of Qing Dao, China. A privately funded refuge, you can only classify House of Love as an orphanage out of verbal convenience. Adoption is not something they do 99.9% of the time, as almost every child in the place has at least one living parent. House of Love takes in healthy children as well as children with physical or mental handicaps whose parents are unable to care for them for one reason or another. Jerry was abandoned as a baby at a hospital, and his “adoptive” family had decided he’s too difficult for them to handle, so they gave him up. Caleb, Danny and their older brother come from an abusive home. Their father is dead and their mother is unable to care for them because of the mental affects the abuse had on her. Jimmy came home to find his mother dead; she felt suicide was her only way. These are just a few of the stories that describe their many pasts, but if the staff and Director Chang have anything to say about it, their pasts will not determine their futures. Filled with passion for each of the children, Director Chang arms herself every morning by crying out to God with a plea for continued grace and favor and with thanksgiving for His love and mercy. As I sat there listening to her pray in a way I maybe only have twice in my life, I could not think of a better name for this home to the hurting and alone. The Chinese government should not be allowing a Christian orphanage to survive, the funding should not logically be there every month and these precious children should not have a smile on hand every moment of the day after what they’ve been through. But this place thrives, the money somehow appears and everything said through the smiles of those kids could fill a library full of books during my short stay there. All of this is happening because of and in the name of love; House of Love is filled with the love of God.
See photos of our trip to House of Love at my friend Sandra Villanueva's website