By Geoffrey and Anna Wormus
"Many humanitarian groups come here giving us food and clothing, but there have been none like you!" You are the best, because you give our children smiles and lift up our spirits. Please come here every week!" Such was the reaction of the director of a refugee center, as he spoke to us after our presentation.
For the most part, orphanages in Bosnia are home to children who have lost either one or both parents in the war. Unlike orphans in most countries, all these children lost their parents around the same time and under horrible circumstances. Many suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and extreme fear.
When the fighting in Bosnia ended, we at Healing Hearts realized that putting a smile on the children's faces was a very important step in their recovery. Thus, we put together a light-hearted variety show including clowns, songs, games and skits, which we began to present throughout the country. From the beginning of 1997 through the summer of 1999, we performed in 182 different locations to over 48,000 children, meanwhile distributing several tons of humanitarian aid to these same folks.
Knowing what these children have been through-sights and scenes which most of us cannot even imagine-what better reward could be had than to see these same children's joyful expressions of thanks as they scurry to the front at the end of the show to meet the "foreigners who showed us God's Love?"
Although the war in Bosnia is over, the pain and suffering that it has left in its wake continues to haunt the population-adults and children alike. With very few people having employment, it is difficult for them to view the future optimistically. Our goal was to instill hope for a better tomorrow, and a belief that in spite of their difficulties, God still loves them.