Hands and house

Hands and house

Monday, January 24, 2011

Snapshots from Our Time on Holy Ground

Well....I have tried about 10 times to make a slideshow and it just hasn't worked....for some reason I could not get it to transfer over to to here.

So I finally decided that maybe God wanted me to write out more of our story. These are the pictures that we have put into a slideshow that we have shown to friends....and now there will be some of the narrative along with it!
There are a ton so I will split it up over a few days...

A beautiful sunrise greeted us on our first morning of camping in southern California....I snuck down to the beach before anyone was up and had a sweet time of prayer.

Our crazy packed car! This is right before we got rear-ended which we figured just helped us to blend in down in Mexico!

It took 3 days to get from our home in Washington down to the orphanage...it was wild but so much fun!

Our first glimpses of the orphanage...

There are a ton of other things going on at this ministry besides just an orphanage. About 100 kids live in the orphanage that you can see peeking through the palm trees (the buildings not the kids!). There is also a full outreach program that serves meals to the hungry, has a food bank, a clothing bank, a full medical facility with 2 doctors, 2 surgical beds and tons of other stuff...

Our room! It was simple but perfect....so many memories there!

We got there in the evening and went over to play on the playground. We could hear giggles in the buildings and every once in awhile a pair of dark eyes would peep out from behind a corner....oh how I wanted to be in with them all!

These are the guest quarters where we stayed...such a rough life :)

We ate most of our meals in the cafeteria with the kids. They have it down to a science in and out in 15 minutes! They save every scrap. The food still on the serving platters in served in the outreach building to those in the community who are hungry, any other scraps are fed to the pigs...I feel very aware of each little bit that we throw out so carelessly hear at home.

We spent just about every morning playing with the cuties in La Cuna (The Nursery). Anytime their was downtime we could go in and play! I think Ravenna could have lived there!

This guy was a fireball! Always running, giggling and ready to wrestle!

Parker spent his days as a robot or a ninja and showed off his moves to everyone. He had the volunteer groups going on 'robot missions' whenever there was a dull moment!

Georgia was just her cute open little self

and Ravenna entertained the kids with her 'gymnastics'!

We spent just about every morning playing with the cuties in La Cuna (The Nursery)

Our kids just jumped in and played....

Even blankie had a part in the action!

This little one was so full of spunk, one minute sweet and the next a little spitfire!

This little gal seriously loved Georgia's shoes. Every chance she got she was carrying one but only Georgia's, no one else's!

Georgia hardly walked all week, she was carried and snuggled and loved on by the older girls every chance they got!

The Daycare:

A large part of the valley where the orphanage is located is farming land. There are many migrant workers from Oaxaca who have travelled to Baja to work the fields. From what I understand, as workers from Baja moved north for better jobs, there became a large need for field workers in Baja. The government has offered people a 10x10 piece of land in trade for working the fields all day (dawn to dusk), some working for no more than $10/day. The land they live on has no facilities and no structures, they build homes from what they can find. In many cases the men are long gone and it is single mothers who are working the fields to keep a place for them to live. 
Well....that leaves the children all alone, all day. As the orphanage staff began to do outreach, they began to find children. One recently was found locked in a structure surrounded by garbage, cutting her own hair. As they started praying for the children and their families, they came up with an idea. They have built a beautiful daycare...literally from the bottom up, volunteers doing a ton of it!
Now....every morning they drive and pick up the children, they bring them back to the daycare, bathe them, dress them in uniforms, wash their clothes, feed them meals, teach them and love them all day long. In the evening they bring them home well fed and clean....and pick them up again in the morning!
As a Mama standing in this beautiful program, I had to fight back tears. I can only imagine how much this must mean to the mother's who are working so hard to care for their children the best way that they know how. Oh and for the children! If you did not know the stories, it would feel like any sweet preschool in the US....so many smiles and giggles and joy!

Isn't it beautiful????

I would guess that there are about 50 kids in the daycare now

There was lots of time to snuggle and just enjoy being a family in this amazing place.
One of the things that I noticed was kids watching with such hungry eyes as our family just interacted together. I started to realize that, yes we were there to serve in tanigble ways but also to just be a picture of what family looks like. One time a friend said that just watching our family together was so helaing for her....oh how I pray that God would use our crazy family to bring healing to kids here too.

This painting is in the visitor's lounge right above the coffee pot. I stood before it every morning praying that the Lord would cement what He was doing in my heart as well as my family's....

More pictures and stories to come soon!


Renee said...

Love seeing all your pictures and hearing about your trip to the orphanage! Can't wait to see more..
How is Georgia doing?

Anonymous said...

Holy ground, indeed. Loved seeing these photos and knowing you are making a difference in the world.
Amen! Shirley Ferris

Sarah said...

Looks wonderful!! What a blessed time.

Susan A said...

Renee just said what I was thinking :)

Thank you so much for sharing :)

Jill Funkhouser said...

Looks so beautiful and nice. Now do they adopt the kids out from there? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

We are looking for a missions trip for our church, can anyone go there and work? How do I contact them?



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