This November we were blessed to be served a delicious Turkey dinner prepared in the cafeteria but a group that came from the U.S. They brought with them about 40 turkeys and all the fixin's to feed all the kids and staff at the mission. It was such a treat to sit at a beautifully decorated table surrounded by people who know what it means to be trully thankful for a meal.
Aili doing her best cheerleader impression?? Roman wishing he wasn't wearing soaking wet jeans. Minerva and Alvaro acting like kids.
We found out this week, from their house dad, that the afternoon (a few weeks ago) when we took Minerva to Sand Dollar beach was the first time she had seen the ocean. She went back to her house on cloud nine. She hadn't even known what the word "playa" (beach) meant. That might be normal for a prairie kid but they grew up less than 4 miles from the ocean. She had no idea. They were never able to venture out of the nightmare they were living in to see a glimpse of the beauty of Gods creation only a few miles away.
Thinking back on that afternoon I don't think I've ever seen a child smile so big for so long. I had no idea though that she had never seen the ocean or even played in any kind of water. It was like she was reclaiming a lost peice of childhood as she dug in the sand, splashed in the waves and slid down the sand dunes.
Please pray for these two precious and very vulnerable children. At 13 and 11 they are only a few short years away from the adult world filled with adult sized mistakes and decisions but they have never really experienced the freedom and nurturing of childhood to give them a healthy base in which to navigate that world.
They will carry the scars of their past with them for the rest of their life and they struggle daily with those wounds. They are sweet and loving kids but they carry a dark shadow over their little hearts. You can see it on their faces and in the tears they try to hide. Their Tia sees them though and it break my heart. For years they have been taught they are worth nothing and deserve nothing out of life. I think for every 1 negative thing etched into their souls it will take a 100 posatives...maybe a 1000. They are in a good place right now to start that process as many people are pouring into their lives here at the childrens home.