Now that the Christmas stocking auction is over (THANK YOU to those of you who supported and purchased or spread the word, it was a great success!), I want to share with you a bit about my trip to Mexico City. I want to be brief, mainly because I am still trying to process it all.
We were in Mexico City for 7 days. We spent time at the Salvation Army orphanage, a women's shelter, and a church in Tepito. This post is all about the orphanage.
What I know to be true: love is universal, no language needed.
I speak no spanish. What I know is what I learned while I was in Mexico City. I was nervous
that the fact that I could not verbally communicate to these kids would interfere with my ability to serve them, to love them. Silly me. God is bigger than that.
I was reminded of Moses in Exodus when God told him to go talk to Pharaoh and let his children go. Here is what happened: (Kaylyn translation)
Moses: I can't speak eloquently, I just can't do it.
God: You idiot, who even made the mouth able to speak??! Me! I will give you what you need to do what I asked you to do. Trust me.
I feel like God said that same exact thing to me that first day in Mexico City. I was amazed at
how quickly these kids warmed up to me, to my team, after knowing me a couple minutes. They were just so hungry, they wanted my attention, my hugs, my love, for me to play silly games with them (which we taught some boys to play "anti-war", you know, the card game War? That game except the boys thought they needed to get rid of their cards to win, so it became a game of anti-war. so fun.), to sing with them, and just to sit on my lap for awhile. They were amazing. They would talk to me constantly. I had no idea what they were saying, but it didn't matter. I was there. I was listening. I had my arms around them. Pure joy in all cases.
About the sheep: I made 47 total sheep before I left. 45 with names on them and 2 extra "just in case". We waited until the last day to give them out. I am not sure what I expected about that moment, I think I was even nervous they would not care about the sheep. I started to hand out sheep one by one. Each child kissed me and said gracias and held me. Held me tight. It was not long before I saw them pointing to their name on their sheep with awe and delight and showing all their friends. There were tears, lots of tears (mainly from me), and lots of hugs. God knew I needed those extra sheep for 2 new kids not on the list. They got sheep too. The whole thing was just incredible. For so long I prayed over each of these names and I got to put a face and a personality to each sheep. The crazy part? The fabrics I randomly picked for each sheep perfectly fit their personalities. Nothing is random with God.
I saw the kids swinging the sheep by their legs, playing catch with them, using them as pillows for a rest, and just holding them as tight as possible. Those sheep were well loved, and I think those children of God knew that they were loved.
Every moment with these kids was a blessing to me, and it was hard.
We slept down the hall from the girls. In the mornings I would see them wake up, start their chores, and prepare for breakfast. All by themselves. Every night, they went to their rooms and went to bed. All by themselves. My heart ached knowing that each morning and night they did not have a mom or dad to tuck them in, to pray over them, to kiss their forehead, to tell them
how amazing God made them, and to speak love into them. No one brushed their hair in the morning, helped them get dressed, or gave them words of hope for the day. They were on their own.
There are hard things in this life. God works for our good. He works for their good. His desire is for us all to care for each other, not just in our backyards, but all
over this Earth, to wherever he calls you. The key? We have to be listening. We have to know there is more to this life than our homes and pretty things in America. There are people with names and faces that are easy to ignore that are hurting, hungry, and need you, need me. We are God's Plan A. There is no Plan B. You and me, we are the plan to meet the needs of those who are hurting, those who are struggling, those who do not have a mom to tuck them in at night.
Thank you to all of you who supported this mission to bring these little plush sheep to a group of kids thousands of miles away in a different country. You are a part of joy that came in the way of a softie doll. A joy that these kids will never lose, even if those legs get ripped off. :)
Seriously, thank you.