I was aware of a strange mix of emotions as I read the news story (http://www.christianpost.com/article/20100309/christians-expelled-forced-to-abandon-33-foster-kids-in-morocco/index.html ) about the Christian couple forced from their Moroccan orphanage at Ain Leuh in the middle of the night for interrogation and then forcibly expelled from Morocco while their 33 orphans grieved. Outrage, sadness, and cynicism about Islam all churned in my heart.
My wife and I lived in Morocco for three years while I was stationed at the naval communications center that used to be there. We had visited that orphanage ourselves back in the early 1970’s and met the founders, two single women who had dedicated their lives to caring for abandoned children. I remember the pleasant spot on the hillside up in the Middle Atlas region where the rambling house sat. As I recall, it was surrounded by fruit trees and gardens, for the ladies taught the children how to preserve foods while they canned much of what the family ate. They had come before WWII and had been there ever since. I do not know if Village of Hope uses the same compound, but the article mentions the founders that I met.
Now, after the orphanage has been helping children for about seventy years, some fanatic government official comes along and turns the foster parents out, suddenly orphaning the children for a second time in their young lives. How thoughtless and heartless can one be? There is certainly not even a hint of a golden rule in that man’s mind—fundamentalist ideology perhaps—but no true alms-giving or charity.
For the children, I pray words from the OT where the God of Abraham warns those who persecute the fatherless. He says that their defender is strong and He will fight for them (Pr. 23:10,11)! For the foster parents, I pray from Matthew 5:10, “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”