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I Can Only Imagine


This morning we awoke to our normal pancakes and yogurt breakfast, and our casual “Hola, Como Estas”, which is about all we know. But aside from the normal breakfast and our attempts to greet each other in Spanish, today lacked the sense of normalcy in which we found comfort in.

We headed to Little House of Refuge today, which is where we spend the most time, and for some this is the hardest place to say goodbye. The lack of normalcy was rooted in the fact that we didn’t know how to feel today, well at least I didn’t. We desperately wanted to arrive at the orphanage, but at the same time we knew that as soon as we entered the black iron gate, little fingerprints would be left on our hearts forever, so “normal” is not a word I would use to describe how we felt. The drive to Little House of Refuge is the shortest drive, but the most beautiful. Often times I would open the bus window, despite some protests from those around me and just take in the air and the rolling hills.

As soon as we arrived at Little House of Refuge we were greeted by three beautiful children at the gate along with a dog named Colocha, who might as well be a child there as well. We got off the bus and slowly made our way down the hill to the orphanage, which was like 20 miles, well more like 20 feet. As we reached the orphanage a young girl named “Rosita” runs up in her bumblebee yellow sweater, and hugs us. Typically when I hug I child here I feel as if I’m making their day better, but today she made our day better. Her smile never left her face, not even once. After we finished greeting Rosita, we got in our prayer huddle, as I like to call it. We prayed and at that moment in felt like we could do anything, like we were invincible. But of course throughout the day we find that feeling drifting, but not in a negative way. We may not be invisible but God is, and God is written all over these children’s faces.

After our prayer huddle, we split into groups. One group went to take over the kitchen and prepare a meal for everyone in the orphanage, another went to plant trees, and the last went to teach the children with the little Spanish we know. I was in the group that taught sixth grade, but let me tell you the meal that was prepared in the kitchen might have been the best meal I’ve ever had. Teaching sixth grade was a real challenge but somehow we managed to teach them fruits in english and number 200-300 in english. We had difficulty trying to help them distinguish between “17” and “70”, because to them the endings “teen” and “ty” sounded the same. But somehow we managed to teach them.

After teaching we went outside to play soccer (futbol), and these children are without a doubt going to be the next Ronaldo or Beckham, so as you can imagine the Guatemalans completely destroyed the Americans. They did not care though that we were bad, all they wanted was someone to play with, and we were more than willing to play. A group of us played soccer for about an hour, and we had the most fun we have had in a long time. All the children would run with smiles on their faces, and they didn’t care if they got a goal or if they won, they just wanted us to play. After wearing ourselves out to the point where we could barely walk, we decided take a break. We had cake for Bryan, because it is his birthday today, and flew kites. Watching the children fly kites was a site to see, all of their faces carried the expression of determination and they were having a blast.

After cake I pulled out my polaroid camera, and all at once every child in the orphanage crowed around, like I was Brad Pitt or something. Every child wanted a picture, because to them this picture was something they could call their own. After pictures we went to play soccer again, and one young girl approached me and asked me to take a picture of her, so I ran up the hill and got out my camera and held it up to take a picture of her and her friend, but all of a sudden they cried “no” “no” we want you in the picture too, and in that moment I felt so loved, and I felt that God led me to this orphanage for a reason.

As we were leaving a young girl walked up to me and asked if I could do a cartwheel, and I said yes, and we spent the next 20 minutes trying to teach her to do a cartwheel, which was semi successful. Even though she couldn’t quite get the cartwheel motions down she kept trying and didn’t give up, which is something we all could definitely learn from.

After the cartwheel lessons it was time to say goodbye, which is where that lack of normalcy came in. We hugged every child in the orphanage at least twice, and tears were rolling down our faces. At first they were tears of sadness for leaving these children, but on the ride home I realized the tears were not only because I was going to miss the children, but also the faith in God that radiated throughout the orphanage. I knew that my faith in God could only get stronger after leaving the orphanage, but it was the children’s who’s faith really struck me as amazing. They have been through so much, yet their faith remains unfazed.

On the way home the bus wasn’t its loud funny self, but more reserved and quiet. I spend the twenty minute ride back to the hotel listening to “I Can Only Imagine” by Mercy me on repeat, looking out the window with tears rolling down my face. We were all asking ourselves “why?”, and I don’t know why, but I do know that God is here for us, and in him we will find comfort in even the hardest of things.

Click here to view the photo album for this team on facebook.

Written By Becca Worsham


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