Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving Celebrations/Visitors/Trips

This past week has been pretty crazy.  On Tuesday, we had visitors arrive from the states and they are here for a week.  We've had TONS of fun with them so far and we're looking forward to the next few days with them!  Since they've arrived, we've been finding plenty of things to keep us busy, so I thought I'd share a few of the things...

First, on Wednesday morning we went to Operation Rescue for one last time this year.  No, they're not closing down for good, but the school year is now done so they won't be serving breakfast anymore this year.  It's been so much fun getting to know the kids there and interacting with them!!

Later on Wednesday, we began the 3+ hour trip to Santiago, which is across the lake from Panajachel.  There is an orphanage that we resource up there, and we thought it would be fun to take our guests there to see a different home and a beautiful view!!  Not to mention it gave us a good excuse to go visit as well!!  The place we visited only had 17 kids when we arrived, but they got 3 more while we were visiting.  All the children either speak English or are learning English and they are very well behaved!!  It was a lot of fun to visit with the directors, interact with the kids, and snuggle the babies!!  We only stayed overnight, but the 6 hours on the road was 100% worth it!!!!

Josue arrived at the home with his mother/sister fairly recently.  His mother is now 13 years old.
4 month old Josue

Mama with Rosita and Shenny

Out at the home, they had recently received a new little girl, 6 day old Mercy.  Mercy had been found laying in the streets, naked, umbilical cord attached and tiny.  She only weighs about 4.5 lbs and is the sweetest little thing.  
1 week old Mercy

Me with tiny Mercy
Minor had arrived at the home when we was about 7 months old.  At the time he couldn't even sit up by himself!  He's come a very long way and is an adorable little guy that gives AMAZING hugs!!  =)
11 month old Minor

Abby and Minor

Risa and Minor

While we were visiting, the directors went to pick up three new children, two babies and a 12 year old girl.  The babies have already had hard pasts, but I am so glad they are now in a home that will care for them, love them and support them in their futures!!
This little guy was 1lb at birth and his mother never claimed him.

This little guy was found in a field and has been in the hospital his whole life

Friday we spent the day visiting two orphanages, one in Guatemala City and one in San Lucas.  At the first home, we mostly just went to play with the kids.  Many of these children don't have family or anyone really to visit them, so we enjoy just stopping by to play every now and then. 

This little guy also has one sister with eyes exactly like his and another sister with 2 blue eyes!!

At the second home, some of our friends were throwing a pizza party for the kids, so we went to help and hang out!!
Sleeping (now 1 year old!!) beauty


Baby Kisses  =)

On the way home from these two orphanages, we ended up getting stuck in 1.5 hrs of traffic, which can get a tad boring...  so Abby and I started taking pictures.  As embarrassing as they may be, I thought I'd share a few.  Abby, please don't kill me!!!

See the resemblance? 

My personal favorite!!! 

Finally, this morning (Saturday) Operation Rescue had their final party for the year.  They brought the kids from the school, as well as several hundred others from the streets.  Each of us was assigned to a group of 10-11 kids to try to keep control of, along with another worker.  They had about 15 inflatable bounce things and tons of games.  It was really chaos, but a lot of fun!!!  We all left the party exhausted, sunburnt and dirty, but happy at the same time!!

A VERY small portion of the kids!!!

After the party, we had to take our guests down to center Guatemala City to show them the fireworks...  oh, and buy a few!!

No, we didn't buy all those!!

I think that about sums up our Thanksgiving celebrations/visitors/trips, and everything else.  I could start to talk about all the things that I'm thankful for, but we could be here for a while!!  So, it'll have to suffice to say that I am thankful for so much in life; my God, my family, my friends and my life.  Happy (belated) Thanksgiving everyone!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"I am a Promise..."

Every child is a promise and a possibility, what are we doing to help them make the right choice and hear God's voice?

I am a promise, I am a possibility...

I am a promise, with a capital "P"...

I am a great big bundle of...


And I am learnin'...

To hear God's voice...

And I am tryin'...

To make the right choice...

I am a promise to be...

Anything God wants me to be!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


The heading on the front page of the newspaper yesterday was "ESTA VIVA!" (She's alive!).  At first glance of the cover, all I saw was a whole bunch of doctors and other workers standing around.  Upon closer inspection, I saw that the one doctor is evaluating a tiny baby girl, her umbilical cord still attached and skin color quite pale.  I quickly turned to the story and read about how this little girl was found at a train station in a plastic bag.  Those at the station heard her crying and she was rescued just in time.  The newspaper today then showed little Valentina (as they named her) in the hospital, her skin much less pale and she is as beautiful as ever. 

Cover from yesterday

During the entire time that I was reading this article, the question that kept popping into my mind was HOW?  How in the world could a mother abandon this beautiful baby?  Was it because she knew she wouldn't be able to take care of her?  Was it out of fear for herself and her baby?  Did someone make her leave Valentina somewhere? 

I guess I will never know the answers to these questions, but they only brought up more "how" questions for me...

HOW can people not believe that there is a God when there are so many examples of his handiwork around?  The perfect little hands and toes of a baby.  The beautiful sunsets and sunrises that we get to experience every day.  The fact that many of us are able to walk around and not confined to bed or a wheelchair every day.  How is that not God?

HOW do I stop missing two little ones that I haven't seen in a year?  How do I stop myself from worrying about them and wondering if they are ok?  I don't know if there really is a way to stop myself from doing these things, but I can continue to pray that they're alright and trust that God had them in His hands. 

Finally, I find myself wondering HOW do I show God's love to so many children that have not experienced enough love all their lives?  How do I show them that a big sister really can be a good "thing" and not just a slave driver?  How can I hug them without them wondering when the beating will come?  How can I help them to understand that, no matter what they do, I will still love them and try to help them in whatever way I can?  How?

There will always be the "HOWs" in life, as well as the Why's, When's, What's and Where's, but it is a huge comfort to know that, like the song says, "He's got the whole world in HIS hands" and God will answer all our questions in his due time!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Amusement Park

So, yesterday (Thursday), we went with a whole group of kids from FundaniƱos to an amusement park here in Guatemala, just outside of the city.  The kids that came ranged from 3 years old to about 16 years, as well as a few workers and the five of us.  Granted, the park wasn't anything like Six Flags or Hershey Park or anything, but it was still fun!

The entrance to the park.
We arrived at the park at about 10:30 and got everyone signed in.  The younger kids got put into groups (well, kinda...) and everyone headed off!  Abby and I kind of followed parts of the group around for some of the morning, rode a few rides and explored the park.  Later in the morning, we hooked up with a bunch of girls from the orphanage and started running (literally running) around with them.  We kept hopping from one ride to another, that's the nice thing with a small park, the lines aren't really that long!! 

Abby's up there somewhere...

"La Torre", awesome ride!!

Eventually we all gathered for lunch and then headed our separate ways again for another few hours.  It was funny to watch the others at the park as we "gringos" interacted with the kids.  There were several times that we were standing in line and the Fundo kids came up to us and started talking.  The others in line kind of looked at us weird, but didn't say anything.  I think the workers also thought we were nuts going around with so many kids, which we probably were!!  Mama stayed with with the peques (toddlers) most of the day, thankfully there were quite a few rides for the younger ones!

Mateo on the Merry go Round
In no time at all, it was time to go back home.  Trying to corral all those kids back to the bus was quite a task, doing final potty breaks before heading home and getting hands washed was a task.  At one point, I had two 3 year olds, a 4 year old and a 5 year old in the bathroom, washing hands and such.  The others in the bathroom were just laughing as I tried to keep those 4 together, but somehow or another we all got out without losing anyone!! 

Angel enjoying the last of his ice cream cone. 
That day was really a lot of fun...  being able to ride some rides, run around and interact with the kids was a bit different, but enjoyable none the less!  We got home around 6 and just about the whole family was in bed by 8:30, we were all exhausted!!  We all enjoyed our time, but I think once is enough for now!!  =)