Thursday, July 27, 2017

Final day of the week...

July 21, 2017

To start our final day as a team, we all got on the bus to head to a hospital by the name of "Ayúdame a Vivir," a hospital for children with cancer, where Sus Hijos has been to only a few times before. We arrived and first saw the waiting room, where there were around 20 people, mostly women and children, sitting. We began handing out blankets and treat bags to all the kids we saw in the waiting rooms, we prayed for the kids we were with and prepared everything we would need to take with us when we visited the kids, as well. 

The night before, our team stuffed 100 teddy bears, which we had ready to give out, as well as a few bags of the stuffing and empty teddy bears so that the kids could make their own. When it came time, the group that I was with, along with a translator went to the back to wash our hands and get a mask before visiting the kids in the hospital beds. We talked to about 10 kids, and each one was so special in a different way. We asked them their names, ages, gave them stuffed animals, and prayed with them. It was so special, and a true blessing from God to be able to spend this time with them. Especially to bless the family members with the kids, letting them know how loved they are, and that God is so present on their journey now, no matter how tough it may seem. It brought me to tears, the kindness they showed. One boy in particular was so excited to be able to make his own teddy bear and had it all made by the time we had talked to all the other kids. God was so present in that hospital, and I pray that the families felt Him then, and for all the days to come, no matter how difficult it seems. After praying with all the kids we went back to the waiting room and laughed and played with the kids for a while longer. It was hard to leave, but worth it to know we made them smile, if only for a few hours. 

After, we ate dinner at States Diner, and headed to the Souvenir Shops. It is always so cool to see the market, and the incredibly detailed handmade items they sell, following this, we went to another orphanage, called "Puerta de Amor."

This orphanage had 7 girls and 1 boy that we got to visit. It was small, but I was very excited to be able to spend time with these few kids, so that we could be able to get to know them all. We became by introducing ourselves and the activities for today. The one boy and the boys on our team headed outside to plays games and one of our translators, Miguel, began to explain to the girls the bracelet we were going to make with them. He told them what each color represented, and spoke to them about God's love and the meaning behind each color representation. It was really powerful, and following that, we separated into about two girls with 2-3 of our team along with a translator. 

This was my favorite part. I got to explain to them what each color means to me, what God's love means to me, and how much we love and care for them as well. I could tell they really heard what we said and it was so cool for me to speak to them in this way. Following this, we spent the rest of our time there, playing softball and volleyball and truly having so much fun with these kids. We prayed and got to hear a few of the girls say their thanks, which is so special to hear, because what they don't know as they are thanking us for being there, is how much they are actually blessing us. We toured their orphanage, and it brought me joy to see it in such good conditions. I am happy leaving knowing that they have people who love them, beds to sleep on, and smiles on their faces from the few hours we spent together today. 

After this, we had pupusas and walked to the overlook to finish off an amazing week. I can't speak for everyone, but I know that this week God spoke to me, God gave me strength to serve wholeheartedly everyday, and He has blessed me significantly in letting me see and experience everything I have this week. 

"In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead."

James 2:17

by Karina Hammond

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