Los Ninos

At the end of every month, at 4 O'clock in the afternoon there is a special service led by the children who live here.
All 7 "casa's" are represented as a few children from each house shares something about their life, asks for prayer or shares a bible verse. Any new children are introduced by their house parents and they are prayed for. I have been to quite a few of these services but for some reason this time it really effected me. I don't know if it was the dawning realization that we may not be here for another end of month childrens service or just the fact that these kids have left an impression on me. Probably both. We have known many of these kids for 4 years now. Some for a decade (since I first came to this orphanage).
We , in just a small way, have been a part of each others lives.

As I listened to the 10 year old girl share how she came to the childrens home at the age of three when her mother died of stomach cancer....
As I listened to a brother and sister ask for a miracle (a visit from their father)...

As I listened to a 13 year old boy with HIV thank God for another year of life....
My heart filled with emotion and my mind became clear.
This is why we are here.
The children.

Little Mayra tried to share but a severe attack of the giggles prevented her from sharing anything but laughter.

I almost lost my control of the tears that threatened to flow when three little girls nervously, with big smiles on their faces and ribbons attached to their hands stood at the front and sang for us. They sang a song of praise to their heavenly father. The one who will never abandon them.
Brenda who has cerebral palsy walked with awkward jerky steps as she pushed her walker up to sing as part of the trio.
She stood unaided with her hands in the air doing the actions, holding her ribbons, and singing her heart out.
She was in a wheel chair when we first met her 4 and half years ago.

Each one of these kids has a story.
So many of them have experienced in their short lives more than we ever will in ours.
They come because they are orphanaed, neglected, abused, or abandoned. Some have a parent that loves them dearly but is unable to care for them. Some have a parent that has chosen drugs or alchohol over their children. Some parents seek out help because of poverty.
Their lives have been difficult.

There is also joy. They are loved, they are living in families, they are educated, fed, clothed and they are taught that the God who created them also loves them dearly. They have value. They are not lost children made to face the world alone.
They have a friend who will never fail them.

I sat beside Alejandro (the boy we sponser) during the service. He has definately worked his way into my heart. He is a 6 year old boy full of energy , big smiles, curiousity and mischief. Much like my own son. The one difference is he comes from 6 years of neglect and abuse.

He has not been overly affectionate which is natural given his upbringing. The only time he has recipricated affection was when I brought him a birthday present on the day that was invented to be his birthday (no one knows when he was born or how old he really is). On that day he planted both his hands on my face and kissed my cheeks. That was a great thankyou.
Other than that I have to chase him down for a tickle or a playful hug. He definatley loves to play.

As the service went on ,and he saw Silas snuggled up on the other side of me, he inched closer and closer. I had my arm draped across the pew behind him and gave his shoulder a squeeze once in a while, aware of not making him feel uncomfortable. After a while I put my arm down and my hands on my lap.
Next thing I knew his face was on my shoulder, then a few minutes later his arm was resting on my arm, finally as the service ended he was holding my hand with his fingers entwined with mine.

The kids. They are why we are here.
If you want to sponsor one of the children who live at the childrens home visit the website.
Let me know if you sponsor a child from the Baja orphanage and I'll sneak in some extra photos of your child ;)

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