Again, the stench here seemed overpowering. But this time, the sound of loud cries and moans caused me to turn to my hosts in alarm.
"Yes," said Mr. Youssef shaking his head sadly, "this is too bad, but we don't have enough caregivers to look after them. It's a good thing they are handicapped, because they don't feel anything anyway."
I entered a room filled with children lying in and bound to metal cribs, their hands tied so tightly with cotton tights or rags that their appendages ballooned out into purplish-gray masses. Many of the children had also been tied around their middles. I could see their little stomachs bloated above these rag "belts." Wearing thin grayish pajamas, they looked like inmates from a medieval torture house-and the cries and moans only made it worse.
"Oh God! How dare You show me this? What do You expect of me? That place is...is...hell. Oh God, oh God, oh God!"
But God had a plan.
I would give everything I had to help these children experience God's love and mercy, to cry out for justice on their behalf, and give them hope.
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About the Author
Norita lives with a broken but hope-filled heart. Her journey to serve those with special needs began when her world was rocked by one hellish introduction to a state-run institution-a "human warehouse for those with disabilities"-in Turkey. Believing God was calling her to serve the children housed there, and after seeing what a few people can do to help so many, she established the Friends of Kardelen Foundation (1998) to provide material, emotional and spiritual support to families of disabled children and young adults in Turkey.