It all started with a prayer, "I want to live in the center of your will. I want to live the life I was born to live" This past summer I spent 5 weeks in Guatemala. All you saw were beautiful pictures of children at the orphanage. That's not all I did. I stayed at the orphanage for a week and a half, but I lived most of the 5 weeks at a group home for abused teens and abandoned children. I was able to visit the orphanage almost every day because the homes were a few blocks apart. The scenarios you first read were just a glimps of the lives of the teens from the group home. The very first day that I stepped into the group home, I knew. I knew without a doubt that my prayer was being answered. God had been preparing me all along for this journey. As I talked to the girls, I kept seeing how love is what they needed. Not the emotion of love, but the realness and the action of love. The love that comes alive in scripture "Love as I have loved you" how did He love us? He laid down His life for our salvation. Lilly, the director of the program has told me once before that by having this home it will not solve the problem of abuse or teen pregnancy, but it will change the path of a handful of girls and young children. Wow! Ok so there I was in a room of teen girls needing me to lay down my life, to love them, to hug them, talk to them, pray with them, encourage them, read scriptures with them.
My favorite part of the day was waking up watching the sunrise from my window. Ok, ok I'm not a morning person at all, but for some reason while in Guatemala I would wake up super early and I would see how the sky would change and light would enter my room. I kept thinking how God was letting His love enter this home. As early as 5am I would hear the girls waking up, taking a shower and starting their daily chores. I would lay in bed hearing their voices, laughter and sometimes even their quarrels.
My most fondest memory was towards the end of my trip. The experience of the situation is what moved my heart and saw beauty in the full picture though the pieces were tragic. One of the girls had a court date to see if she would be sent back home. The evening before was so nerve wrecking for her. She didn't eat dinner and was obviously nervous and scared. I was able to sit with her and I asked her, "What's the worst thing that the judge would say?" She replied, "That the judge would say that I have to go back home." I felt a lump in my throat. Why wouldn't she want to go home? What's so horrific that being home would be the worst decision? I asked her what she had learned being in this group home and she said that she has learned how to clean, cook and how to take care of her little baby. She started talking about how she would want her daughter to grow up and earn a good living. That's when I saw and realized what the purpose was of that group home. To give them Hope and a Future (that's the name of the group home). I asked many more question to have her see that even with the worst case scenario of going back home, she has learned many valuable skills to be able to apply it at home and earn a good living. Later we went upstairs, I shared a scripture with her and we took turns praying. The next day I went with her to her court hearing and I met her mother. I wanted to cry. I then understood why going back home with her mom would be the worst case scenario. The mom was cold hearted, ruthless and it was evident that this woman has had a really tough life and lacked the love of Christ. I wanted to hug this woman. We waited in the waiting room for almost 2 hours to be called for the hearing and it later turned out that the judge had cancelled the hearing and we all went back to the group home. The teen was so happy and relieved that it was cancelled. Being part of the process was such an eye opening experience for me.
I miss being there. I miss talking to the girls, playing with the kids and I miss sitting at the table listening to them fight for who was going to pray for the meal. I miss having them run towards me while screaming with excitement, "Tia Ana!!!!!!" After being gone for the weekend. I miss their tight hugs, the late nights talking about their struggles and their days. Weird, but I miss their teen drama. I can't wait to be back there again.
So you see jewelry all the time in this blog. Why? It's a tool. A tool to share about the mission that God has placed in my heart. A tool that will contribute to getting me to Guatemala. To be able to live in the group home and be a friend, a sister, a mentor, a servant, a light, a teacher, a student and to show the love of Christ. My prayer is always to have people be inspired to do more for others. I share about my journey and my hope is that they will want to do something more to serve the poor in their own community or out of the country...or help support me ;)
This is all for His glory!