"See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God..." 1 John 3:1
taste and see that the Lord is good, there is nothing my heart desires more. san pedro sula is a beautiful city with breathtaking mountains and mesmerizing sunsets. it is so easy to see God's hand in these stunning creations. even more beautiful are his precious creations- children. never did i anticipate how much the Lord would use these children to reveal Himself to me.
nueva esperanza orphanage is filled with precious children ranging from 3 months to 12 years of age. at first glance, it is a pretty depressing place. a tall concrete wall boarders the perimeter of the orphanage. in fact, the orphanage was originally built and used to house prisoners. and now it is a place that over 150 kids call "home." we spent most of our time in the nursery. there are over 30 infants and young toddlers and about 6 kids who are severely mentally handicapped. because there is only one worker for all of these children, our help was greatly needed. for four weeks my fellow interns and i were able to love on these precious creations. as each day passed i could feel myself becoming more and more attached to these babies. every day i left them, i knew i was one day closer to leaving them... and not coming back. my heart broke every time i thought about it. it was during this time that the Lord taught me so much about trusting in Him and having faith. i knew that i would probably never see the fruits of loving, holding, feeding, and playing with these orphans. i probably would never see most of these babies again. but my God is a faithful God and i have complete confidence that his purpose will be fulfilled.
"I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted... Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know." Job 42: 2, 3
i was also blessed to have been able to spend time with the older children at nueva (ages 3-12). i can honestly say that i have never seen such beauty. these children loved without reserve. it didn't matter who i was or what i had to offer them. they still loved me, whole heartedly. i could see Christ so clearly in them. the Lord used these children to show me what true joy is. i will share more on this at the end of the post.
casitas adolescent home for girls is filled with some of the most amazing young women i have ever had the pleasure of getting to know. the girls (ages 13-19) are in this government-run home for a variety of reasons. some of the girls are in as discipline. a large majority of the girls are brought there because they have been raped repeatedly and need protection. others have been orphaned since birth and this is just another "home" that they will eventually outgrow. and some have been abandoned, brought there by their families who no longer want them. each girl has a different personality and a different story. yet, they have one thing in common... they are all broken and in desperate need of love. there is no way i could share all the Lord taught me through them. i hope to write individual blogs about individual girls who have blessed my life beyond measure. i so desperately want you to know them. honestly, i don't think i ever understood what true and selfless love looked like until i met these girls. i can't wait to share their stories with you and i know you will be blessed.
so, about two weeks into my trip i was still waiting for that "ah-ha" moment (as my friend mrs. debbie calls them, life moments). the moment where everything comes together and i know God's purpose for sending me to honduras. this moment came in the form of a precious (and very spunky) 8-year old girl named kengi. mary elizabeth had told me all about kengi when she got home and i honestly could not wait to meet her. she also told me that she had taught kengi a song. as soon as i met kengi, i wanted her to sing it for me. for about five minutes i tried everything i could to get this little girl to sing for me. let me tell you, she was not going to give in to my pleading. keep in mind i am attempting to talk to her in spanish so she probably couldn't understand a word i was saying. :) for ten minutes this little girl refused to look at me or even smile at me. i was beginning to think all of my pleading was not going to be rewarded. finally, she agreed to sing to me but only if we went off away from the other kids. i agreed and she led me to a corner. i squatted down so i was looking into her big brown eyes. as soon as she began to sing, her eyes lit up. she was singing with her whole heart. as i sat there and watched her, i began to weep. this little orphan who had nothing, not even her own bed, was singing... joyfully!! it was at the moment the Lord completely broke me.
"joy is not the absence of trouble, but the presence of God." -elisabeth elliot. i have always loved this quote, but never truly understood what it meant until the Lord used kengi to show me. joy is not some fleeting emotion. joy is a fire inside that cannot be extinguished. as believers we have joy not because we have a family, or riches, or material possessions. we have joy because we have Christ!! what an overwhelming and sweet truth.
"I will not leave you as orphans; i will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live." John 14: 18-19
"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." John 16:33
spanish:¨Gozándome, levantaré mi voz a ti, del cielo me bendecirás, mis manos alzaré. Tu majestad tiernamente me abrazará,y a mi corazón hace cantar, gozándome."
english: "Joyfully I lift my voice in praise to Thee. With heaven watching over me I raise my hands up high. Your Majesty gently washes over me. Makes my heart begin to sing joyfully."