Monday, April 27, 2009

the things that speak to my heart

Our time here in Guatemala is certainly a time of vacation for our family. However, it is also a time of giving to those in need, a time a listening to the Lord, and a time of continuing to grow some relationships that are so precious to us. So, with our time here, comes a rush of emotions that range from laughter with my husband and children, wonderful memories made with friends, and pain and heartache from the devastation that saturates this beautiful country. Every time we are here (and this time is no different), the Lord shows Himself to our family in new and beautiful ways. I think that is why I long to come back here. Here is a story that I will carry in my heart for the rest of my days:

We arrived in Guatemala on Thursday, exhausted from the trip down here. Our wonderful friends picked us up from the airport to deliver us to the school and children's home where they work with and minister to over 400 children that live in heart of the drug and gang capital of Guatemala. The town that they live in is noisy, crowded, dirty, and full of violence. However, once you enter the gate to the home and school, the children there are happy, playful, and full of hope. How amazing it was to look outside of the walls and see despair, and inside to see life. It was like seeing Heaven and Hell at the same time. What a privilege it was for us to see this amazing family serving the Lord in this place. We stayed there only one night and had much fun playing with the kids and taking in all that this wonderful ministry has to offer.

We were able to tour the dorms where 60 of the (orphan) children live. (The other 340 kids live outside of the walls). On our tour of the dorms, one thing was very clear to me. These kids do not have any toys! I did not see one toy. Clothing, beds, kitchen, yes, but not one toy. Wow, and these kids are so happy. Later that day, we were loading up the van, and one little girl (that had spent some time with my girls), came running up to the van. She was all smiles as she announced "Yo tengo un regalo para Lily"....I have a present for Lily. In her little, sweet hand, she held a small Ariel Princess doll. Earlier that day, my girls had talked with her and she and Lily bonded over their common love of princesses.
I was tormented at the very depths of my heart. How do I allow this child to give my daughter this little doll when it may very well be the only toy that she calls her own? My first thought was to not allow her to give it. Then, I realized that I would be stealing her joy. We thanked her and hugged her and quickly snapped the photo below. She was so very happy to give. I ask myself, do I give that joyfully? That sacrificially? Will I ever learn to give as this little girl did? I was reminded of the widow giving her last penny. I can imagine that our heavenly father was smiling down on His precious child.

1 comment:

BT Laurie said...

Great stories and memories in the making! How neat of you to have the insight to accept this little girls' gift for Lilly. God is at work! Thank you for sharing!
Laurie Carlson