Today we journeyed from Tegucigalpa to La Paz. Like Salem, La Paz means peace. It is a peaceful little town. We are at the base of some mountains so it is hilly. The terrain reminded us of eastern Oregon.
|The Guest House|
After settling in to the Guest House, a home owned by Ene, a woman with a heart for missions, we finally got to meet the kids. It is an oasis in the middle of a desert when it comes to homes we've seen.
From the moment we met them, it was clear that they hunger for positive male interaction. Nicol had me sit next to her while introductions were made. Personal space wasn’t an issue. There wasn’t any. She was looking up and smiling, laying across my lap…all while yelling her answers to other kids’ questions.
|Chris losing energy very quickly.|
After introductions we just played for a while. It’s been a long time since I had three early elementary boys climbing on me at the same time. I was swinging them around, lifting them up, giving piggy-back rides, chasing…you name it. Missions to orphanages is for younger, more energetic people!
|The current orphanage from the courtyard.|
The orphanage itself is in sad shape. Imagine a courtyard with a square building built around it. Everything is open and accessible, but everything is falling apart. Sister Edith runs the orphanage. She is a quiet (ex-nun) lady who clearly loves the children. She has some, but not enough, help. Orphan Outreach is raising funds to help pay for a nanny to give her a break.
After a while we left to tour the new orphanage, which is scheduled to be completed on October 30. It was a stark difference. Every room has been thoughtfully laid out. It is still a courtyard centered building, but it is huge in comparison. The whole space is about the size of a football field, with room for 32 children.
In La Paz, people only get water every 5-11 days. And power outages are apparently pretty frequent. At the new location, they were able to drill a well and build a water tower cistern to make sure that water is available 365 days a year. They will even have enough to sell water to some of the surrounding neighbors to help pay for orphanage expenses.
We returned to the current location and Douglas taught our first lesson to the kids. He did a great job, teaching them that Jesus came to find everyone, not just some people. We attempted a few songs, but the language barrier made that challenging. Our activities were hackey-sack and hopscotch.
It was a great day. The kids are awesome…energetic and fun loving. One thing that is true no matter where you go…kids love to laugh, giggle, chase, and climb.