Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Nicaragua Picture Post

I realize I haven't done a lot of sharing about our trip.  There are several reasons for's been very busy here lately with moving, Thanksgiving, and everything else.  Blogging has had to take a back seat to finishing the move and taking care of the kiddos. 

Beneath those superficial excuses lies the real reason that I haven't blogged about the trip.

The Truth?

 I really doubt anyone will want to hear what I have to say.

  You see, all of the kids that live at the orphanage have a story.  As we visit and our relationships with the kids grow, we hear more and more of the stories.

These stories that we hear are tragic. 

They involve abuse in every form.

 And, as the kids grow to trust us they open up about why they live at the orphanage instead of with their family (the orphanage system in Nicaragua is a lot like the foster system here, so many of the kids do have family, they just can't live with them).

Building relationship is most important part of our work there.

You see, the kids don't open up much to each other.
And they don't open up with a lot of groups.
They open up one on one.
When they're working.
Or playing with a baby and don't have to look into your eyes and tell you about being beaten by their parents.
Or lit on fire.
Or told to huff glue when they want something to eat so that they will forget about being hungry.

I have a hard time coming home and sharing this stuff because it hurts.
 I love these kids, and I am honored that they trusted me enough to share their story with me, and I don't want to make light of that.
And, most people don't want to hear the hard stuff.

They'd rather hear that we painted a room, not that we chipped away layers of some teenage boy's heart so that he can hopefully start to heal from his abuse. 

But healing is the important part.  And that was the focus of our trip. 

Healing and loving.

But since it's hard to get pictures of healing and loving, the best I can do is share pictures of the kids we love. 
I hope you enjoy them.

Tate running to Juan when we first got to the orphanage. 

The praise band that was started after we left in August.  They are great!

Oscar and Alex (brothers) with Theo at church.

Tate and his buddy Asner, who graduated from high school last week!  We're so proud of him!!

Theo and Alex.

Kevin with Theo.  Kevin lovingly refers to Theo as his "little son".

Me and my favorite Nicaraguan artist, Jonathan.

Tate, Suyapa and Richard playing at the playground.

Mark helping cut the grass.  This was before he almost amputated his leg with the machete. 

Theo eating his first sucker.  I let the girls hold him and they came back to tell me that he really likes suckers.  I can't imagine why...

I have a ton more to show you, but I thought I'd start with an overview and work into more specific projects and events later.

Enjoy your night! 



Nate, Heather, Spence, and Trey said...

thanks for sharing your heart. i know it's hard to hear that stuff but i am so confident that the lord has you and mark there to do just that, knowing that he will equip you for all you need to handle the awful! if you EVER need to talk about that just to know where i am. i love you!