Team: Baylor University Line Camp
Written by: Tessa D.
All around me are these tiny bodies, and yet God has never been bigger. It’s our third day at the center and I don’t think I’m alone in feeling like we’ve been here forever. Not only are the children excited to be with us, but the nannies and the entire staff are so kind, welcoming us with incredible hospitality. Everywhere I turn there’s a smiling face, and they don’t even mind how terrible my Spanish is. Orphan’s Heart has fully destroyed any preconceived notions I had and has far surpassed any expectation.
God is evident in the hearts of the people here. Today we had the amazing opportunity to meet the sponsor children that are no longer at the center, and provide them with food, as well as nutrition supplements, which the center routinely provides to them and their families. Olivia, one of the in-country staff, welcomed each child by name and they embraced her frequently. Literally hundreds of people came through the center today and received a massive blessing. Families were lined up before 9 in the morning, patiently awaiting the process to start. These food supplies are handed out monthly to the families of the sponsored kids and help keep all of their children out of the center. Out of the many faces I saw today, I didn’t see one frown—not on a volunteer, a staff member, and especially not on the kids.
God says in 3 John 1:4, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth”. The center here in Guatemala is the perfect embodiment of this statement, and so I know, for a fact, that God is pleased with what happens here. Honestly, the words to truly describe what goes on here are hard to find. For me personally, the best way to describe it would be a small slice of heaven. I think that if God’s believers ended up in a place like this for eternity, nothing more could be wished for. A community where everyone comes together for the common good of those in need. A community that struggles together and lets no one person fall for personal ease. A place that is so happy in the face of such obvious want and sadness.
I’ve come with Baylor University and I’ve never made a better choice; this group has become so tight knit over this trip. In the face of hunger, need, and excessive amounts of bodily fluid, our faith has undoubtedly grown exponentially. Each night we get together to share the absolute best parts of our day. Every single person has an amazing moment to share. A moment where God was evident and life was so beautiful they have to come and tell the rest of us. Where else does that happen? When do 24 people all have something so amazing that, for God’s glory, they couldn’t possibly keep it to themselves?
So far, I’ve spent a lot of time with one little girl in particular; she’s been quite sick and needed a little extra loving. She’s a dolphin, the youngest and most critical section of children here at the center, and she will steal your heart in the blink of an eye. She’s a year and a half old and she still wears 3-6 month clothing—just to give you an idea of the affects of malnutrition. Today, I finally got a smile out of her, and my heart stirred violently. She’s lethargic and tired, and I know God’s hand hasn’t left her. By knowing her, God is more more present in my life.
Every person here has a story like mine, a kid who’s stolen their heart, because every child has a place in our hearts forever. The nannies are comforting not only to them but to our group. I’m a better person for being in Orphan’s Heart this week, and I think the group would concur. The center truly does incredible works and we’re beyond thankful for a week we’ll never forget.