When we started working on building the playground, several kids came out from school, and morning chores to check out what we were doing. Most stood back and just watched us, some tried climbing on the equipment as we built, and one ornery little girl Katarina (we became fast friends) started playing a game of catch me if you can with the jungle gym we were putting together. We did finally get it together. After several days we completed the entire playground, a jungle gym, trampoline, hop scotch, balance beam, and even fixed the two swing sets they had there. The kids LOVED IT!
To see the smiles on their faces as they climbed, and played was worth the work. Plus I even got to use some power tools.
There are about 40 or so kids in the orphanage. There were a few who really captured my heart.
Katarina was of course one of them. She has a twin sister Nicole, a younger brother Josweigh, and younger sister Carla. Katarine reminded me so very much of my Katie when she was younger. Always running at full speed, happy, and curious about everything. She Loved playing and running. She has a beautiful smile and her laugh was contagious.
Xavier caught my attention right away. He was quiet and shied away from all the noise and action. He was afraid to slide, jump on the trampoline and swing by himself. I spent much of my time swinging with him, and encouraging him. His smile and little laugh warmed my heart. I can still see his smile as he would conquer a fear.
The little one that still has a piece of my hear is Manuel. He and his brother were abandoned by their mom, whom we ran into one morning outside our hotel. She used to work at the orphanage and decided being on the street was better for her, thankfully she left the boys their to be loved and cared for. As a mom myself, I can not even fathom leaving my children. Manuel just wanted to be loved. He attached to me pretty quickly and I had no problem with that. I only wish I could have taken him and his brother home with me. Every day when we would get there, he would come out and look at our van, walk around it until he found someone to hold him. As I held him I prayed, sang, and talked to him. He was the hardest for me to leave. Manuel is one reason I know I will go back to Honduras.
The above picture was snapped by one of the ladies on the trip. We went back to say our good byes, and I had just sat Manuel down to leave and he looks up at me like this. I had to choke back tears, and when ever I see this picture is brings back all the emotions from that final day.
I loved my time in Honduras. I learned so much about who I am and where I belong. I got to see God in action in the lives of everyone we came in contact with. I know I will go back to Honduras one day. I loved seeing the joy and excitement in the kids, as they played and to know that I was privileged to be a part of that! To also know and see the amazing work God is doing through Open Door Ministries (Honduras) in the lives of the children and people of Honduras was such a blessing to me.
We have another team scheduled to go to Honduras in June and I have already started praying that God would use them in mighty ways! I can't wait to hear their stories and see how God works in them.
Next time I will share about the Feeding Stations!
Have a Beautiful Day!