Thursday, October 28, 2010

Operacion Rescate (Operation Rescue)

For the past few weeks now, our family (along with a few ORI co-workers) has been going to a feeding center/school down in Guatemala City called OperaciĆ³n Rescate (Operation Rescue) to serve breakfast.  OR works with about 180 kids, ages 4 on up,  providing them with breakfast and then having classes for them.  The requirement is that they attend classes if they get breakfast. 

So, when we go to OR to help serve breakfast, we usually get there a little before 7 and start greeting the kids that come in early.  Around 7 (or soon after, or quite a bit after!) the bus pulls in with anywhere from 70 to 90 kids from the city dump.  Giuseppe (the founder of OR) stands outside the main door and greets every child that comes off the bus, and he invites us to do the same.  So, the kids are greeted with a whole line of "gringos" to hug and kiss!!  Giuseppe said that many of these children aren't given the time of day before they leave home, so he wants to show them the love that they are missing.

The hug line
Once all the kids are inside and seated, Giuseppe tells them a story and then has a prayer for them.  He always tells them to be thankful for what they have and he reminds them that God has a special plan for their lives.  Afterwords, we get the breakfast line moving!!  Each kid gets two pancakes, so there are usually two people dishing out pancakes, one person putting syrup on them, and then several people handing them out.  It's really quite a process!

Getting the line moving
Eventually, all the kids get their breakfast and we can walk around and hand out any extra pancakes that we may have.  For some of the kids, this is their only meal of the day so they will eat as many pancakes as they can!!  Many of the kids also enjoy a little extra syrup, so we can go around and pour syrup on their pancakes too.  And, of course, we can interact with the kids, play with them and pick on them!! 

After everyone is done eating, we'll go around and clean off the tables, wipe them down and try to push the stragglers to get done!  Each kid finishes up and goes and gets their toothbrushes and uses the pila to brush their teeth.  Many of the kids have rotten teeth already, but any little bit helps!!

LOTS of dishes!!

Teeth brushing line
After breakfast, all the kids go to their separate classes and we have a little time to talk to Giuseppe.  He will often tell us the stories of several of the children.  Some have been beaten by their fathers, others have had a parent die and even others have come to school with rat bites from overnight.  Many of their stories are heartbreaking beyond anything we can ever imagine.  Giuseppe talks about each child like they were his own and you can very well tell he is EXTREMELY proud of them!!  Oh, and today a rat ran out of a drain, very out of it, but it was still a rat... 

No, he did not kill the rat, it's Operation Rescue, remember?  =)
Every week I look forward to going to Operation Rescue and being with so many of God's precious children.  Whenever I go, I walk away feeling so many different emotions.  Anger at how these children are sometimes treated, happiness because of their smiles and hugs, helpless because I am only one and I can only do so much, but at peace because I know that each child is in God's hands and he is always taking care of them! 


  1. You might be only one, but you are making a difference in the life of EVERY child you hug!
    So proud of you!♥


  2. this is so neat that you are involved w/ this. you ARE making a difference, even though it may not feel like it sometimes. keep up the good work!