Keepers of our Souls

You craft your words to heal our pain
Then stir our hearts to live again
Through prose, our wings of soul take flight
Yet circle back on truth alight

Oh keepers of our souls I know
That one day in your league I’ll go
To steady hearts from fear and shame
Then faith release to give again

There are keepers of our souls, writers who stir us to believe and then to give. In contrast to those who wield the poison pen, keepers of the soul release God’s grace. They take us to humankind’s most degenerate places so we can see how the innocent suffer. Then they call us to rise above the din and envision heavenly possibilities.

Recently, two keepers of the soul have shared their ministry among the poor with me. We used to work with the same organization, Youth with a Mission, back in the early eighties.

This faithful couple went on to live in Ankara, Turkey were they have served for many years. They care for institutionalized children whom society deems as cursed. This excerpt from one of Norita’s blog posts wrenched my heart and so I pass her blog and their website on to you:

“You know how traumatized they are—being left by their moms or step-dads or other people with no explanation or help in getting adjusted here. Put like inmates into these bare rooms with barred, nailed-shut windows and no toys or people to talk to or be around. They are kept here for at least two weeks. Mrs. Nimet said this was the directive from the main office downtown– to ‘get them used to Saray and to get them over the crying jags they inevitably have before being sent into the regular wards.”

I bent my head and wept for every little Fatma or Mehmet who had to experience so much rejection because of her/his disabilities.

“If I’m here when the kids get here, then I can force the staff to unlock the door to the ‘In-take chamber’, have them come into my play room and hug them and play with them to help them feel loved and cared for. I so want to do this…. Please let me work there.” 

Another post provides further examples of the pain and agony these children endure:

“When I got there, one of the boys was moaning and rolling around on the floor. He looked like he was nine or ten. I’d no sooner walked in when Y. S. (the staff psychologist and assistant director) walked in with a nurse. The nurse started yelling at the boy to be calm and quiet. Then she wrestled him onto his stomach, put one knee on his back to keep him still, pulled his head up and grabbed his jaw from behind. She managed to open his mouth, took her handy pair of pliers, and pulled out one of his teeth. Blood spurted everywhere. The child was screaming like a hurt animal. Y.S. and the nurse looked like they were just going to walk out of the room without so much as a look backward or a comforting move toward the boy.”

The morning after I read this post, I drove to school thinking about the contrast between my concerns, making more learning games for students, and the suffering endured by these disabled children. I never want to forget these children and those who champion their right to live safely and peacefully.

Visit Norita and Ken’s website at

2 Replies to “Keepers of our Souls”

  1. We are so lucky and take so much for granted and these moments of harsh reality helps keep life in perspective. I admire your friends for working in Turkey, people like this are truely heros.


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