Good morning, friends! I've been away for quite a while. I arrived home from Acapulco, Mexico early am Monday morning and have simply been trying to recover since. I am excited to be able to catch you up on my trip!
That verse is something the orphans at Casa Hogar del Nino hear over and over and many understand what that means. When I signed up for this mission trip, I was thrilled to be working with orphans again. I love children. I love seeing their smiling faces. And I love loving kids who have been abandoned by their families. In Scripture we are told that Christians are to take care of orphans (James 1:27). Perhaps that is why I feel so at home with them...God made me to love them. It is part of His plan.
Many of the orphans at Casa Hogar have been abused--physically and mentally. It broke my heart learning some of their stories, what they have been through, and why they relate better with certain ages or why they don't relate well at all to older men. Knowing this orphanage is housing 50+ kids with similar backgrounds and pain beyond imagination, I expected to walk into the same type of atmosphere I've seen in Romanian orphanages. Fear. Fear of the staff, fear of other children, fear of visitors. What I saw in Romania was kids with one or two friends that refused to hang out with anyone else. They couldn't trust anyone else. They didn't know gentleness, kindness, or love. And they didn't know the redeeming love of Jesus Christ.
What I walked into at Casa Hogar in Acapulco, Mexico, was joy. Joy indescribable. These kids know who Jesus is, they know the Lord loves them, and they look forward to every new team that arrives. You bond with the kids quickly and your heart is just overwhelmed by the sense of compassion amongst everyone there. The staff is loved and respected. The kids are obedient, respectful, cooperative, and gracious. Casa Hogar is unlike anything I ever expected to see. We went to take the joy of Jesus Christ to the orphans at Casa Hogar. In doing so, God showed us His joy bursting out of the children there. Praise God for that opportunity. Praise God for the opportunities He has ahead of me!
Our prayer for the staff and the children there is from Ephesians 3. It is one we are committed to praying continually, and one I ask you to pray as well. God is doing great things at Casa Hogar. And it is all for His glory! Praise be to the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Giver of Life!
"For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and earth is named, that according to the riches of His glory He may grant them to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in their inner being, so that Christ may dwell in their hearts through faith--that they being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that they may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than we can every ask or think, according to the power that is at work within us and them, to Him be glory in the church and in Jesus Christ throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen." Ephesians 5: 14-21