Cookies for Emma

Today is the day that a precious little girl named Emma was due to be born.   Instead, she went straight from her loving mama's womb into the arms of Jesus.  Today she is celebrating her first Christmas Eve with the same angels that announced the birth of the Messiah.   She will never know tears, suffering, or pain.

Her mama and papa, on the other hand, are far too familiar with tears, suffering and pain.  My heart aches for them today.  While the rest of the world celebrates...they grieve what should have been.  They mourn all that  they have lost. 

A couple weeks ago Emma's mama asked all her friends if we would do a random act of kindness and report back to her so she could write them all down and fill Emma's stocking with all the ways that people have been blessed in her honor.   

I thought is would be a very special way to remember their daughter but I hadn't come up with something specific that seemed worthy...thankfully my friend my in Mexico, Amber (who is also a friend of Emma's mom) had a really great idea.  She's a great idea kind of woman.

We gathered our troops,  and let our kids loose on a batch of sugar cookies.

We loaded our crew, the cookies, and a big thermos of hot chocolate into our SUV and drove to a nearby park.
Every Friday the park is filled with women , with their children in tow, selling their wares.   

We wanted to surprise them with a little treat.

We set up on a little cement park bench and starting passing out hot chocolate and sugar cookies. 
We wished everyone we met a "Feliz Navidad"

Our amigo Saul and his adorable little Brielle.   This little girl and Cece are so cute together.  

I love the traditional dresses that these Triqui women wear.

{I bought the red one...it looks so pretty and festive on my dining room table}

Emma's papa is Mexican and her mama lived in Mexico for years as well so it was fun to be able to do this act of kindness for the same people that Emma's mama and Papa poured  a lot of love into.  


Beauty that not many get to see

My precious kids.   The little rascal dressed like my boys often are, nearly knocked me over when I showed up at their door.  He jumped so high wrapping himself around my neck I think his knees almost touched my ears.  I love these kids!

Rain coming again...

Candy and a broken heart

This week  we had a couple different "outreach" Christmas events that we were so grateful to be a part of.

This one constisted of a lot of dulces...candy.

The kids used the "Icecream for Orphans" fund to purchase candy for 75 candy bags and a pinata full of candy.

This is the Dulceria.   The big bulk candy store...aka heaven on earth for children.

This time we drove south to a small community and met at a church there.   This church wasn't quite like the one at the toy bag outreach.  This community is a settlement of squatters for a lack of a better word.  Make shift shelters built on unowned land.  Many of the houses were built only from flattened cardboard boxes sewed together.   I didn't get a picture of those.   Over the last decade there has been a lot of change and development in this area of the Baja but this community is a flashback.  Extreme poverty.

Thankfully poverty can't stop faith , hope and love.
"House of Prayer"

{Roman in the green sweater holding Cece}

Our kind and humble leader, Judy, passing out knitted hats.

This young woman is a gem.  She has been working here for a couple years now and is a natural.  Her love for Jesus and the people shines bright.   Roman is taking up his roll as basura  (garbage) boy again. 

More muffins and hot chocolate.

This little cutie sporting his new hat is every so subtly pointing at himself asking me to take a picture of him.  

Perla, the girl in the pink was a character!  

Chile , strawberry, and salt flavored lolly pops.   

This young mama with what I assume is Cerebral palsy was struggling to maneuver herself and  her young son through the line.   I made sure that they got situated out of the chaos with muffins, candy bags, and hot chocolate. My heart went out to her.  She couldn't form words but it felt like we connected somehow.  I want to be her friend so badly.   I want to do more for her than bring her hot chocolate and tell her how handsome her son is.  She is so very proud to show him off for the camera.   It broke my heart to think how hard life is for this woman...for every woman here.   

This has been an amazing week...it's also been an emotional one.  I feel like my heart is broken into pieces on a regular basis.  I love it here.  I love the people, the culture...this place.    

This week Aili and I went to visit the girls we visit at a "rehab", which is more like a detox lock down in a very rundown building.  They don't actually rehabilitate anything.   The conditions there are astounding to my Canadian eyes.   The girls range in age from 12 to one in her 30's.   Most of them have children waiting for them to get clean.   Girls age 12 and 13....my heart aches.

One of my kids from Santa Fe came knocking at my door last night.   He walked (about 12 years old) 5 miles, in the dark, in the drizzling rain to find us.   I still dont' really know why other than he was hungry.   
When I asked him why he came he just hid his face in his sweater and cried.    I held him and cried too...having no idea what was weighing on my boys heart.   All I could do was feed him a big meal, send a bag of food home with him, pray for him, and give him a ride back home to his worried siblings.    My heart breaks again.

I can't refuse to contend with this suffering.  This isn't charity ...it's people.   I want it to hurt me, to break me, to wound me as I come face to precious face with it.   Jesus bore more than fleas, lice, and inconvenience to contend with my sin.   I know candy isn't the solution.  I know we are just a drop in the bucket...but  it was great to wrap my arms around a cold little barefoot child, give them a gift ,and spread some of the love  and mercy that I've so generously received.