Thursday, June 30, 2011

First few days in Guat....

     Hey ya'all....I made it down here safe and sound and these past few days have already been amazing! Yesterday we did a group project of painting part of the orphanage and then did group stations with the kids of face painting, crafts, musical instruments, and more! I can't tell you how great it is to be down here with my little Guatemalans!  And not to mention, the baby rooms are all full, which makes things even better:)  Today we went to the dump, and even though I have already been there before, it never seems to amaze me.  We spent alot of time at the slums today, which are the neighborhoods of the people that work in the dump for a living.  These people are working 12 hour days of digging through the largest landfill in central America for things to recycle and sell.  The smell, the dirt, the crows flying all around, and the cemetary at the very top, all add to the sadness of the dump.  We had the opportunity to bring Pollo Compero (which is pretty much a Guatemalan chickfila) to a family that lives in the slums.  It was such a blessing to be able to share a meal with this family.  Their "house" literally is all piled high with garbage they have collected in hopes to recycle and sell. With that amount of garbage brings rodents, flees, dirty cats and dogs roaming around, and just plane dirt everywhere. In all honesty, I was concerned to walk into their "home" because it was basically just like walking into a garbage dumpster only with a little walkway.  I was challenged to look at them and love them through the eyes of Jesus.  This is their home; this is who they are.  They have just as much value through Christ as we do.
       There were 3 little boys that walked over who had also been working in the dump....the youngest one was 3 years old.  This is reality for them....this is their life.  They are lucky enough to make around $1.50 a day of 12 hours of straight labor.  A few guys from our groups played catch with them and they were also able to have some chicken quick before going back to work.  To think that they don't normally get a full meal or a quick lunch break, just breaks my heart. 
      Later today, we got to take the 3-5 year olds from the orphanage to some play zone in a mall here in the city.  It was so great to see them out loving life and doing something that I remember loving to do as a kid.  They definitely wore out their energy!
      God has already been teaching me so much! I'm reading a book that my dear friend Lindz gave me called, "Face of Love," and something I read stuck out to me....As we are serving Christ, we are to wake up each day, ask Him what He is doing that day(not what He wants you to do, but what He is already doing.)  And then we are to join Him.  That's just a little challenge I've been reminded of and hope you all can apply that in your lives as well! Well, its bedtime here! Thanks for all the love and support!
                  Love from Guat,

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Love has a Face...

     I just wanted to begin by sharing a little bit about my heart for the orphans in Guatemala.  For those of you who don't know, I have 3 younger adopted siblings (2 of which are from Guatemala).  My first visit to Guatemala was to visit my sister Kenzie who is now 6 years old.  She wasn't in an orphanage, but each time we would go down there, we always made sure to visit the orphanage known now as "Dorie's Promise."  My second visit there was one I will never forget.  This visit was just with my mom and older sister.  We played with the kids, sang songs with them, and handed out little candies and stickers to them.  When we had to leave, the kids were getting ready for nap time.  One little three year old girl was sitting in her top bunk and would not let go of me as I was hugging her goodbye.  She kept saying something to me and all I could say back was "Te amo," which means I love you in Spanish.  Finally, we walked out of their room and our translator told me what she kept saying to me.  She was saying, "Will you please take me home with you?"  Tears automatically ran down my face....and all I wanted to do was go back and love on her some more.  I found out that something was wrong with her paperwork and she had been waiting to be adopted now for 2 years by a family.  She ended up being adopted 2 more years after that, which is such an answer to prayer.  I will never forget her precious little face looking at me that day.  I knew right away that God was moving in my heart and I am so thankful for that special, life-changing memory.  Unfortunately today, adoption is shut down in Guatemala.  Thousands of orphans are being thrown into government run orphanages and these children are not getting the love they deserve. The people of Guatemala need strength, hope, and most of all...Christ's love
     I had been to Guatemala 4 times visiting/bringing home my 2 youngest sisters, but had the amazing opportunity to actually get to do a full missions week this past March.  It was such a blessing to be able to serve the country that my sisters are from.  One morning down there, our leader said they usually have a few volunteers in the summer time and asked if I was interested.  Once again, I started crying and knew that was exactly what God wanted me to do.  I am leaving tomorrow on this 5 week journey and I cannot wait to allow God to do amazing things! 
                    Because of His Love,
                                 <3 Kaley