This video should break our hearts. Why? Some things simply need to be known. This is one of them. The Still face experiment. What does that mean? I urge you to take just a couple of minutes to watch this experiment. After you have watched it, please continue to read the final thoughts. It will change the way you see orphans (and even your kids) forever.

Here is the link in case you are not able to view it on this blog:

What is the big deal about this video? Here’s the big deal. When you put this experiment into the context of the orphan child, you begin to have a much greater understanding of what they are going through. The picture I showed you in my last post of the orphans in Sudan who had 4 workers for 80 children was a great example of the challenges that are presented in an orphanage. It raises questions like, “who is going to hold all of these babies? Or who will look into their eyes and help them learn to manage their emotions?” Did you know that’s what parents do when they are talking baby talk back and forth to their babies? These children learn at a very young age how to manage their emotions. They read the face of those caring for them. If there is no one there to care for them and look into their eyes on a consistent basis, then like this video, they tend to self destruct emotionally.

The problem with not being able to read another person’s face is simply this….the child turns off emotionally. You may have seen pictures in Romania or other places where the problem is very serious and the children just stare back at you. No emotion. They attempted emotion at an early age. But, often times they were ignored or the caregivers were simply not able to get to them to help them learn how to adjust to their emotion. So, they turned off.  And, they can’t get back.

What’s so bothersome about this is that once the child starts to emotionally “turn off”, it becomes very difficult to “get them back”. You noticed in the video that when the mother looked away for 2 minutes, the child tried to “bring her face back”. That child tried everything to get it back because to that particular child, it was their compass, their road map for life. As it is with every child. Unfortunately, most kids don’t get to “get back to the good face” in the orphan system. And, a life of emotional struggle begins and never lets up. And, it’s hard to turn around. That’s why in many countries like Romania, you see up to 90% of orphans who age out of the system turn to prostitution or drugs or trafficking because they have had little to no guidance in those critical years.

So, how do you turn that around? I think one statistic that bothers me more than any is the fact that 14 million kids “age out” of the orphan system each year. That means that kids are flooding the streets with no guidance, direction or foundation. The ONLY answer is for the CHURCH to return to the forefront of the orphan epidemic. The problem is that many churches don’t have a compass themselves in order to strategically care for orphans.  How can we sit any longer and watch these kids walk away with bags in hand to a place of darkness and emptiness?  Look real close in Romania and you’ll find kids living under the sewer cap. It’s safe there. And, you may not see any expression on their face. Where’s the Church?

There is always hope.  We can do something about it.  We believe that every church in every community can care for every orphan. We’ve developed a step by step strategy to engage the church in orphan care in their own back yard and around the world in places like Romania. If each church would do something, we could make a huge difference. So, what can you do? Become an advocate. Create awareness by forwarding this blog to your friends. Connect your church leaders with Patch Our Planet. Support our efforts. Let’s begin with the orphans’ interest in mind and work from there. We don’t have to see 14 million “still faces” walking around our countries with no purpose or direction. God loves them and they need to know they are special and that He has a plan for them. Who is going to bring that message? It starts with you and me. I am just a dad who is trying to offer solutions and to make a difference for these kids. Time is short. Let’s give these kids a chance to “get back” with our involvement and maybe our involvement will allow one child or more to have a chance at a healthy, whole life with purpose and meaning.  That’s worth the effort.