Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Precious in His Sight

As I sift through hundreds of pictures, letting memories and stories soak further in, I struggle yet again with how to begin telling you about our week serving in Manila. I know, in time, the words will come. But for now I proceed with the very reason we made our return...

these beautiful smiles...
these smiling eyes...

These precious faces that leave me wondering, once again,
how could anyone turn away?

And so you wait. But you wait in such good hands, dear one. Faces, smiles, loving arms swoop in with kisses, comfort, reassurance... humbly taking on the fiercely trying role of being mother to a child who has none… only to say goodbye one day, that glorious day, when a family comes to take you home. The staff of Concordia Children's Services are truly angels.

Faces... more faces... of those who do have family, though little else... the beautiful smiles of the street children who come to CCS in the afternoons for life lessons, snacks, safety... all of which add up to hope for a better future.

A deeper look into the very eyes of faith... Ate Beth, the orphanage's director, protector, and champion for the past 20 years. Wisdom emanating from every pore.
Familiar smiles that once warmed our hearts now melt our souls as our eyes meet again.  
Hello Mia Claire! So wonderful to see you, sweet girl. My how you have grown!

This, my friends, is a very special place.

What, then, can we bring? What good can we do?
How might we be a blessing to those who bless us by simply smiling back?

Joyfully we come to serve
Bringing hands to feed you

Arms to hold you

Smiles you might recognize

New wonders to bring you joy

Silly games to make you smile

Talents and tools to keep the rainy days away.

With you we share... timeless truths to encourage you

A new look at the beautiful creation you have become

 A little something to brighten your day

 A story for your mind

A song for your heart

A friend who has been praying for your soul... your miracle soul.

Humbly we bring to you... the healing care of a doctor

The gentle embrace of a sister

The unmistakeable love of a brother.

 All this love we bring, and yet we leave here so full.

These are the little hands and feet and faces that brought us back to Concordia.

These are the smiles we were praying to see again, to create anew.

These are the eyes we crossed an ocean to gaze upon,
that we might share a message of hope.
Sweet Mia, your family cannot wait to meet you!

Through seeing, through sharing, through holding, through loving, our time at this special place has melted in, becoming part of who we are.

We will not soon forget your beautiful smiles

Or how you made us smile.

Or how in you we witnessed the very love of Christ himself.
"Whatever you did for one of the least of these..."

Future families, please know it brought us immense joy to hold your sons, your daughters in our arms. We pray for you as you wait for the glorious day when your joy may be complete.

Precious ones, we will not forget you. You will be forever in our hearts and in our prayers. Sleep soundly. Dream sweetly. Your family will come for you soon. And until that day, know little ones, you rest in the arms of angels, protected by the unwavering promises of our Father.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11


Dedicated to the precious children and loving staff of Concordia Children’s Services orphanage, with special thanks to members of the Lutheran Church of Guam, as well as friends and family who supported our team’s efforts to return to Manila through your prayers and donations. Thanks also to the LCMS staff in Manila for coordinating our visit. And, finally, endless appreciation to the Frees Foundation for granting our team the resources to bring care and hope in an extraordinary way. As we tuck these memories away in our hearts, we are forever grateful for all who made this experience possible.

If you would like to join us in supporting this very special place, please consider making a donation to Concordia Children’s Services. The orphanage is run completely on private donations, and every dollar, every peso makes a world of difference as they care for the children who wait. 

If you would like to receive quarterly email updates of adoption stories and specific needs of CCS orphanage, please message me and I will see you are added to their email list.

Thank you, friends, for your loving support and for joining me in lifting up this very special place.


  1. I love this. Those children are so, so precious. Seeing their beautiful faces tugs at my heart. But I trust when you say that they are so well taken care of. Good work, friend.

    ps - I love that kid in the first picture pulling down their pants. :)

    1. Haha! me too! It's my favorite picture of the whole trip. Thanks Sara - Thanks for your very special contribution as well :)

  2. Ok Peyton, I'm in tears now. These pictures are beautiful. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Your words are perfect. I'm so thankful to see the Lord work in such an amazing way, and how He is using you!

  3. What a great post Peyt! You guys did a wonderful job in Manila. Love you!

  4. I wish I could have joined you guys this year, it truly sounds like an amazing time. I hope Colin and I can take our kids on a meaningful trip like that, what a wonderful experience for the kids and parents of LCG to witness!


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