Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Orphaned in RIO

So I finally took the boys to see the new movie RIO on mother's day. For those of you with multiple children (especially multiple boys below the age of 10) you can understand this is actually a gift to mom! Not to worry, Melissa had already received her share of motherly appreciation from her children, including lunch to her favorite Chinese restaurant, and she had had her fill of "love" from them. Going to a children's movie these days for me is like looking for a needle in a haystack; find a theater NOT showing it in 3D coupled with a time that suits our schedule and is for the matinĂ©e price. I know why the movie companies want to pump all of these kids movies out in 3D, they charge $4 or $5 dollars more for them, cha ching! The little ones end up taking off their glasses or smudging them beyond usability with greasy popcorn fingers anyway, so the extra cost and "experience" is certainly not worth it. I can actually buy the popcorn for the price difference, sheesh!

The movie was cute enough and I'm sure there are plenty of good summaries regarding the story line and the main characters, the animals. I however was keenly focused on one of the non-animal characters playing a key role. You see there was an orphaned street boy that was being paid to steal exotic animals. At one point, the bad men (after paying him 1/2 of what they had promised him for stealing the birds in the first place) told him to get lost, to go home to mom and dad. He told them he didn't have a mom or dad, or no home to return to. To which they slammed the door in his face and the boy makes his way to a lean to overlooking the splendor of Rio. While the boy did play a redemptive part in the movie by helping the good doctor and bird owner rescue their birds, this orphaned street boy was not rescued. In fact, the movie ends with his ongoing daily plight unresolved. While my boys will not have realized this, it stuck with me like a serious case of heartburn (which I did have Monday after too much popcorn). At one point he was asked, why he would do such a thing; steal the birds that is? He replied something about how he knew it was wrong, but he just needed some money. 

I couldn't help but think of E and F and what they might be doing in Guatemala City and Hohhot at some point if God had not brought them to us. We've seen glimpses of what many of the boys end up doing in Guatemala City if left to the streets and it's not a pretty sight. In fact, Melissa and I were just talking about his gentle spirit the other day and how he would struggle mightily on the "streets". Getting to see the movie this week was also timely for me as I'm blessed to be attending the Summit VII conference being put on by Christian Alliance for Orphans this week (http://www.christian-alliance-for-orphans.org). In the midst of all that has been raging around us after the storms, this has helped me begin to focus on what God has in store over the next 3 days regarding His calling of orphan advocacy for me and Melissa. Through conferences and awareness opportunities like this, I can only pray we help find as many redemptive opportunities as we can for the children like the orphaned boy in RIO.

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