+Lorena Ventura is someone whom I've known for a few years through church, but hardly on a personal level. We got better acquainted when she joined me on the journey to Guatemala. I had such a great time getting to know her and it was obvious that many people were drawn by her sweetness. When she was in College at UCLA there was a community service that was started to help children. Her classmates and her started going to an orphanage neat Tijuana, Mexico. After she graduated, she continued her trips and this time she included church members. This past weekend I joined her on a trip and let me just say that I had a BLAST!!!
The day started at 5am...yes, I will wake up that early for the sake of orphans! We got ready and waited for people to arrive at a local COSTCO. Once everyone was there ad all of the cars were packed up with the donations, he headed towards the boarder. We made a quick stop on the last exit before entering Mexico for last minute items and food. Tijuana is not for the first time drivers. It's crazy trying to switch lanes and make turns. People have no considerations for the stops or lights. Let's just say that my sensory system got a little workout! The town is called La Gloria.
When we arrived to the orphanage the children were upstairs with another group from Tijuana. The children were learning about Jesus in a fun way...with puppets. They were super attentive and participating. After they were done we all went outside to play with the kids. I had so much fun! One of the little guys I spent quality time with was little Guero. He is about 2 years old and I played a little bit of soccer with him. He let me hold him and we walked around the building kicking the ball. While I was playing with him little Diego (click here for another story of Diego) came to mind. I got a knot in my throat, but I tried to focus on Guerito.
As soon as we drove in I could hear them say, "It's Lorena!" The guys played soccer and showed each other their moves they also played Frisbee. That's when I was introduced to Alex.
Alex is 17 years old and he was dropped off about 2 years ago by his aunt who lives not too far from the orphanage. The director indicated that Alex's aunt has not once gone back to visit. Alex has such a sweet soul. He does not talk, has poor sight and possibly poor hearing. When he got up he grabbed me supper tight and wrapped his legs around me. I thought it was super funny because here's this kid who is as tall as me wanting to be held. Once the director helped Alex to get down, I walked him to the couch. He managed to move his body on my lap. All he wanted was to be cradles like a baby. I let him and I slowly rocked him back and forth and sang him a song. It was such a special moment with Alex.
There were a few kid that were a little sick...I didn't hold back with the hugs and kisses so I am now at home, sick. IT WAS WORTH IT!!!!!