Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sleepless

Tonight I can't sleep. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by all of the orphan statistics that I encounter on a daily basis. There are an estimated 147 million to 167 million orphans in the world today, and over 1.5 million of them live here in Mexico. However, my favorite statistic is that it only takes one person to change the life of one orphan child. Tonight I had a great talk with my roommate Caroline about what it would really take to change the course of a child's life in one of the casa hogar's we serve. So I'm sitting here thinking about the 35 kids living at Del Norte and what it would take to alter the course of their lives. First and foremost, it takes Jesus in their lives. None of us can love them out of the brokenness that comes from being abandoned at a children's home and the various kinds of abuse and neglect they've experienced, but our God is big enough to heal even the most broken of hearts. I'm regularly overwhelmed by their need and my limitations, but God isn't. So in my sleeplessness I'm claiming God's promises for the orphan child and praying that God would show me what I can do to help those 35 kids. These promises from the Bible are painted on walls, doorways, and window frames throughout Del Norte to remind the kids of what God has promised them. Sometimes I need the reminder too.

-God promises to defend them
-God promises to rescue them
-God promises to deliver them
-God promises to come to them
-God promises to hear them
-God promises to not leave them
-God promises to lift them up
-God promises to lead them out
-God promises to be their father
-God promises to make them a home
-God promises to not forget them
-God promises to extend mercy to them
-God promises to execute true justice for them
-God promises to give them food and clothing
-God promises to help them
-God promises to maintain their cause

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Field Trip

This week one of our groups was able to take the kids from El Retiro Juvenile on a field trip to the bowling alley. I love taking the kids on field trips, we get to see them smile and laugh and be more like normal kids for a while. It was quite an event! Because it was a little over an hour bus ride, we gave the kids chips, a soda, and a cupcake for the ride. So special treats mixed with bowling made for one great afternoon!

Me and Alva, she's very snuggly
Paolina granny-bowled and still got an 88!
Alva was always excited, no matter how many pins she knocked down
Becca won with a high score of 115, but we weren't far behind her
The final scores, and proof that I was beaten by a little girl who bowled 3.1 mph
video

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Small Groups


"When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours." Romans 1:12
This week we had a really amazing group of students from my old high school in Cincinnati come to visit. I was blown away by this group, they worked super hard, love each other a lot, and really desire to grow closer to the Lord. My favorite part of the week was getting to know 4 very special girls who were in a small group that I led in the mornings. I got to see close up as preconceptions and walls crumbled, hearts were softened, and relationships with God were renewed. On one of the last nights the group took communion and then had time to pray with the small group leaders or with each other. After praying for a few of my girls, I was amazed as I sat back and watched the students gather on their own in several small groups to pray, and then one big group to pray together. I can't wait for them to take this back to their high school and put it into action!

Baby Steps

I've started working with the 1 and 2 yr olds at Del Norte on some "early intervention" techniques. As we've been spending more and more time with them, and watching them next to our director's kid who's the same age, we're realizing how far behind these babies already are! So from now on I'll be going to Del Norte on Mondays and Thursdays with another staff woman to try and get the babies moving in the right direction. This Monday was the first day, and so with a few group members we played with play-dough, puzzles, balls, read a counting book, tried to eat Cheerios, crawled around a lot, and practiced some walking and standing. I was so excited to see that Alexis, who just turned 1, will now stand up or take a few steps if you're holding his hands. And he figured out how to eat Cheerios, all major accomplishments in my book! You can see he worked really hard, he fell asleep eating his lunch with 30 other kids running around screaming.