Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Guatemala, Love and frienship

It's 6:30 in the morning and I woke up to the beautiful voices of the children here at the orphanage. I must say that my heart is full and I keep having to remind myself to be in the moment and not think that in just a few days I will be going home.

The journey started on Thursday morning as we arrived at the Aurora airport in the city of Guatemala. I must say that though we were exhausted from the overnight flight, but we were ready to meet up with the rest of the volunteers who would also be serving at the brigade. That evening we had a short meeting to prepare our thoughts and hearts to serve.

Friday we went to the church building and as we started to set up the children from the Colegio Hope (Hope school) started to arrive. It was so special to see so many of the children whom we have serviced year after year. One of the girls her name is Andrea right away said, "sing me the song" I knew exactly what she was talking about so I started to sing, "Ana Ana bonana fee fi fofana Ana" she kept giggling and saying "Again" I think I sang the song 5 times.

That night I was asked to accompany my friend Gelion to a dinner where some of the members of the church were hosting a dinner of day of friendship and love. After the brigade we rushed back to the hotel and got ready for the special occasion. As I arrived there were about 50 people there waiting to encourage one another. The main person heading up the event said that the guys would be taking the ladies to a location where the event would be initiating, but the ladies had to close their eyes as they walked. So I closed my eyes and Gelion led me to a location withing the same restaurant. After walking past a doorway he let go of my hand and then I felt someones hands on my shoulders leading me to a chair. The light turned on and I heard a voice that said to open my eyes. It was my best friend Estuardo Rodriguez. He was dressed in a suit looking good and the small room was decorated with balloons, rose pedals on the floor shaped in a heart with candles, a table between our chairs with a beautiful display of his fruit art that he carved into a flower. He was holding a bouquet of flowers in his arms. He said "hello" I felt like I was going to melt because I knew exactly why I was there. He gave me the flowers and started to say how much he appreciated my friendship. He probably talked for 5 minutes. It could have been less or more, but I was so engulfed in the moment that time did not exists. Then he asked a very important question, "Will you be my girlfriend?" I said yes and we hugged and giggled. When we opened the door holding hands and everyone was by the door cheering and taking pictures. My heart was full. I would have never had imagined that two and a half years after accidentally meeting him that he would be someone so special in my life. He compliments me in so many ways and has a lot of strengths that I lack and we have a lot of things in common. I have been praying for so long to have a boyfriend like him; someone who loves God with all that he has and serves others.

The following days were so amazing serving at the medical mission. I have so many stoaries to tell and so many special moments that just filled my heart. I met a little old lady without teeth. Her name is Simona. She was so cute and she kept hugging me and telling me how thankful she was to have us there. I met her on Saturday and on Sunday she returned with her husband who has Parkinson's. She gave me a thank you card and a necklace. This little old lady thought of encouraging not just me, but the other volunteers who helped her along the day. It was so cute she even asked the doctor who treated her to give her her number because she wanted to call her. I thought it was so cute!

Monday we took all who where still at the hotel to the orphanages. We first visited the orphanage in San Lucas (Amor de Patricia), then to the orphanage where I will be living. I can't even explain how I felt coming here and having the children run to me and screaming "Tia Ana!" When the school aged children arrived from school they were so excited to see us. The children hugged us and jumped into our arms. It felt so good to hold them. At one point I had 3 in my arms screaming with excitement. They all changed their clothes and got ready to eat lunch. Lester (Chick HERE to read more about Lester) does not let go of me, he even asked me last night if I could sleep in his room with him. This morning at 6am he came into our room and with excitement said "Buenos dias" I really love this kid!

There is no doubt that I am meant to be here. I love being able to love these kids. I thank God for this opportunity and I am charged to go back home and continue to work hard and finish paying off my school loans so I can call Guatemala my home and have many children to call my own.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Airplane mode

So we finally left LAX a few hours back and I'm in the plane watching the sunrise. There's just nothing better than to see the beginning of a new day. I did not sleep at all. We should be arriving in half an hour in Guatemala and my excitement needs to get out of this seat! 

Preparing my heart for this trip was something special. There are so many things that need to be done and experienced. I was given the privilege of teaching on Friday to teachers of the Hope school. There are about 200 students who live in a very poor neighborhood. I was told that the police don't even like going there. 
A friend whom I met two years ago at a previous medical mission asked me if I wanted to join her in doing a workshop on the different learning styles. I am looking forward to it :) this will be done on Friday during the medical mission. On the agenda for today is breakfast and sleep. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Love your neighbor

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40

"Love" As we get closer to valentine's day there are so many gift ideas, craft ideas and even treats that are common during this time. When I think of love I think of something different...I think of the verb; to love. Who doesn't like to "feel" love? Butterflies in the stomach, the heart racing, etc. I honestly do not think that God intended it to just be that, a feeling. There are so many examples that refers to love such as when one sacrifices. I even think about the scripture in 1 Corinthians 13 that describes what love is. All the things that are listed are referring to more verbs.  

On that note, Guatemala is right around the corner. I am super excited because not only am I getting closer to paying off my school loans, I am going to spend a week there. I hope that I can be "Love". I keep thinking of what I should take with me to encourage the girls at the group home. What can I take to brighten their day? My mind races as I imagine myself already being there. 

The medical mission will be held on the 21st-23rd of February and we are collecting the vitamins. Would you like to love your Guatemalan neighbors? Last year we actually ran out of vitamins on the last day. This was really sad because I know that a little sugary pill can make a huge difference in a child's life when they are not receiving the nutrition that they need. Let me know if you would like to contribute. 

Here is more information regarding the medical mission. 
Click Here

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Serving on Martin Luther King

I completely forgot that I never gave an update on our day of service. In Orange County we had several locations where we were given the opportunity to serve. I served at a local food bank who gives food to children who are homeless. Some live in shelters and other in hotels or living with other families in a home. There were several of us volunteering and children were welcomed. It was so cute to see these kids putting food in the bags and sorting the canned food. There's something about seeing the kids being taught at such a young age the importance of serving others.

Some have been asking when the next trip to Tecate will be. Well, mark your calendars because I just got word that it will be February 15th. I do not know the specifics yet, but what we normally do is visit the village, fill up buckets of food and then head on over to either see the boys or the girls at the orphanage. let me know if you would like to attend and or donate food.

Another thing that I am super excited to announce is that in 2 weeks a few of us will be heading to Guatemala to serve at a medical mission with Hope Woldwide. We typically see over 400 patients in 3 days and after it's all over I will be heading over to the orphanage to stay the week. My heart is anxious to see the kids and the teenagers. woot woot!!! +Lorena Ventura will be joining me once again on this trip. So stay tune for updates on yet another adventure.