Less than 7 hours a day for 4 days is simply not enough time! Are we tired? Sure! Are we hurting all over? Yes! Are we missing our families? Absolutely! But there is still so much work to be done, as I am sure all of you know. This week has been packed full of diaper changes, runny noses, smiles and precious attitudes. Our team is from Michigan, Florida and Illinois. I know each one of us is ready to head home but we will all leave a piece of our hearts here at the Malnutrition Center. Every time a child fell asleep in our arms, or we made a child feel better after a diaper change, every bag of food packed for a family and every smile we saw made a piece of our heart melt on the tile floors of this Center.
I had the privilege of working with the younger day care children. Most of them are here because both parents have to work, and the children go home at the end of the day. We had a routine to follow every day, but each day was completely different and a gift from our God.
We were able to see the relationships growing not only between the children, but with the nanny. The nanny taught the children how to start speaking, manners and some basic life skills. We would enter in the morning to the children playing with play-doh, we would play and have fun. We created tortillas, and snakes and used cookie cutters to make other shapes. We bonded with these kids using anything familiar to us. As we saw them interacting with each other we were able to pick up their personalities.
Johnny is sweet and he doesn’t cry much when his toy is taken away; he’s learning to self entertain. We had twins that loved to use each other against us; very smart, beautiful little girls that loved to push the limits. We have two other girls, Gladys and Melanie who seem to love our team member Dennis. He’s like a grandpa to all: kind and gentle, they love to look up to him, and he loves to hear their laughter. Anthony, Willy and Hector are our rambunctious boys. They think Sue is funny when she practices her Spanish with them and look to her for approval. Angel and Naomi were our youngest, So trusting after I fed them snack. Their big brown eyes just called out for love, they enjoyed practicing to walk as well as cuddling, they did not like changing clothes or when nap time started. Truly blessed by God, our all knowing all powerful God, He was here before us and will be after us.
I knew that coming on a mission trip would change me as a person, never did I think I would come home with so much more insight, and so much appreciation! I value these nannies so much, they are strong, wise, amazing teachers and mothers and they still have time to be beautiful and smile, they have joy in their hearts! We can all learn something from the women and men who work at the center to make each child feel loved and just a little healthier every day.
Please keep praying for these nannies, the children and their families… We never know how God will use these little ones or their families to spread the gospel, what we do know is that each of these lives, each personality was created by God and for God.