Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Through prayer alone, God provided...

I would like to start off by apologizing to my followers for my lack of blogging during the past week or so. I am very new to this whole blogging thing, so please bare with me. Lol. Things have gotten a little crazy around here with the team and I getting sick, and a large group of people coming in for Shoes for Orphan Souls (a Buckner ministry). I would like to catch you up on how the week ended at La Sagrada Familia. Here it goes...

Oh goodness, June 4th was the last day at La Sagrada Familia... the entire night before and the morning of, I was praying that God would provide me with the strength, smiles, and energy I needed to get me through that day. I knew from day one that it was going to seem impossible to say "Ciao!" to those precious children who have stolen a place in my heart forever. Just as Jesus has always promised... if we ask in His name, He will provide. Sure enough, He did just that... the Lord alone provided me with everything that I needed to get me through that day. The moment I walked into the room filled with children from 2 months - 3 years old, I was not thinking about how I had to leave them at the end of the day... I was walking around with a huge smile on my face, scooping up any little kid that came my way, and thinking about how I could show these children God´s love through my words and actions.

Throughout the week, I developed a special connection with a little girl named Carla (she is the little girl in my Facebook profile picture). She has the most precious face with the most darling dimples, and you just can´t help but fall in love with her. I have 3 favorite things that Carla and I would do together: 1) she would stand either on my legs or in between my legs while I was sitting down, and she would hold her arms straight out to the sides... she would wait for me to do the same, and then she would fall into my arms and wrap her little arms so tightly around my neck before mine were even completely around her. 2) I would make random funny faces, ans she would mirror them back to me. However, when I made my lips go diagonal, she just gave me this funny look like, "You expect me to do that?" Lol. 3) She would start crying, so I would walk over to her, and she would hold her arms up towards me and say "Mama" - this just about melted my heart every time. I felt like everywhere she went I went, and everywhere I went she went. Saying goodbye to Carla and all of the other kiddos was extremely difficult, but I found comfort in knowing that I have the privedledge, through Christ, to pray for her every single day.
Next, we had to go say our "Ciao´s" to the 4-6 year old girls and boys. With this group, I made a special connection with a sweet and shy little boy named Edison. As we were singing songs, he wouldn´t sing or do the motions, but then we made eye contact and I just smiled at him, and he joined right in with the words and motions. I caught myself, several times, just staring into his sad, deep brown eyes and wondering what his story was. However, I quickly remembered that it doesn´t matter what his story is, because I was called to develop that special relationship with him to be able to simply love him and smile with him. After we finished there, the rest of the interns and I decided to walk back by the 2 month - 3 year old room... each of our little "favorites" were outside as if they were waiting for us. There was a fence between us and them, and I would stick my hand inside the fence and Carla would place her little hand in mine. She would press her head between the fence posts and look at me with sad little eyes as if she knew that I was leaving for good this time. As we began to walk away, there little feet ran after us as far as the fence would let them. It was one of the most heartbreaking things to look back and see all their precious faces pressed between the posts staring back at us.

My prayer for the children of La Sagrada Familia:
God, I pray that you will wrap every single one of those children into your tender loving arms. Those children literally have nothing, but yet they are some of the happiest little children I have ever met. I want to pray specifically for my little Carla, and that you will bless her life as she continues to grow into the beautiful young woman I know she will become. I thank You so much for the opportunity to pray for all of these sweet children. Father I know that by serving Your children, I am serving You. I love you Jesus!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

La Sagrada Familia Orphanage

The first thing that struck me when we were on our way to the orphanage, is how the country of Peru is literally filled with thousands of people who live in extreme poverty. When I say extreme, I am not exaggerating one bit! The "houses," more like shacks, that these people live in are maybe 20-25 feet by 20-25 feet. Most of those shacks are shared by two families, and when I say family, I don´t just mean mom, dad, and children, often times extended family live in there as well. To make matters worse, these shacks are often shared by 2 different families. There is usually only one bed per family... can you imagine sharing a bed with 4-8 people every night? The honest truth, is no we can´t, because most Americans have not experienced or seen EXtreme poverty. When I look out the window of our van each morning, I see an ocean of these shacks, and that just breaks my heart. Anyone who sees this vision can not help but try to blame God, by saying, "God why and how do you let Your people live in these horrible conditions?" However, we have to remember that He never intended for His children to live in these situations, but because we live in a fallen world, there is poverty and hunger. It is our duty as followers of Christ to humble ourselves, and go out and serve His people in any way we possibly can.

We are now on Day 3 with the children at La Sagrada Familia. In the morning, we spend time with children ages 1-3... after lunch we hang out with children ages 4-6. We sing songs, make crafts, play games, but we quickly found out that those children do not want to be put into some "planned out" schedule... they simply just desire to be held and loved on. Something that I found really intriguing is to figure out each of their personalities. I am constantly reminded of just how vast and incredible our God is, because He knew each of these little ones by name before they were even conceived. I have quickly realized that I could not have chosen a better way to spend part of my summer, because I believe that through serving God´s children, I am serving Him. God has truly blessed me with the opportunity to return to Peru. I already know that it is going to be extremely hard to leave these precious children at the end of the week, but I find comfort in believing that I have impacted each child´s life in some way, because I know that each of them will have a special place in my heart for the rest of time.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Finally in Peru!!

I have finally arrived in Peru! I am incredibly excited to be here, in what I feel is my second home! We were a little unsure if we would be able to fly down here from Houston due to the volcano that erupted in Guatemala, because we have to fly right over that country. However, by the grace of God, we only had about a one hour delay with our flight and then we were on our way! Today, we walked around the beautiful city of Lima with Giuli (one of our translators, and our ¨mama¨ for the next month). We went to the Buckner office and had orientation with her, where we planned out what we are going to do with the kiddos at each of the homes/orphanages we are visiting. I am very excited to see what God has in store for us. My team and I have all agreed that we are going to allow God to lead us as we are on this incredible journey that He has laid out for us. The girls in my group are absolutely amazing, and we have already created a strong bond! Please pray that God with give us stregth and guidance throughout this next month as we fufill His work.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

One Week Away!

(This is when I found out that I received the internship with Buckner!)

I cannot believe that I will be leaving for Peru in one week! I vividly remember when it was more than 80 days away (I kept a countdown in my planner for school :)), and I thought the day would never come! I am so thankful for everyone who has helped make this desire to return to Peru become a reality, whether it be through monetary support or most importantly, prayer support. God has provided me with such wonderful people who have encouraged me to pursue this mission. I am so excited to see what God has in store for my team and me while we are in Peru! My prayer is that we will be able to unite as sister's in Christ, be a light to the children we meet, spread the love of our Heavenly Father through what we say and do, and show that love needs no translation!