This last weekend we went exploring in Nicaragua. It was Mark, myself, Tate and Theo, and the four chavos pictured above (L-R Jorge, Billy, David and Jalmar). Jalmar was born in Nueva Guinea and lived there until about 12 years ago. We went not only to take a weekend off, but also to see his family, meet his family and get to know the area a bit. It was a draining weekend, but so very wonderful.
There were so many highlights of the trip, but one of the best parts for me was getting pineapple! A friend of Jalmar’s grows pineapple and graciously let us cut some to bring home. I’ve been enjoying it for the last few days, and I have the top planted in my yard to see if I can grow my own pineapple bush. Pineapple is the international symbol of hospitality, you know!
I love this picture of my boys. They loved Nueva Guinea, ate like pros, and had great attitudes. It didn’t hurt that Jalmar’s family house has a huge pile of sand and rocks and the boys could dig there all day long. They also (obviously) enjoyed the parrot.
The trip was a very good reminder for us about the reality of the kids lives before they are at the orphanage. Nine people living in a few room house. Dirt floors. Cooking over a fire. Often there is some kind of abuse or abandonment that coincides as well…you get the idea. This is the life of just about every kid before they come here. And while they are grateful to be here and thankful for the added opportunities, they are still at an orphanage. Away from their families, away from their routine, away from their people.
The smile that came to Jalmar’s siblings smiles when we drove up to his house (it was a surprise) brought tears to my eyes. Even though they haven’t lived together in over 10 years, the love still runs deep.
It became obvious to us that there are huge trade offs that the kids make to come into the orphanage, and the responsibility of being the one to go is staggering.
Thank you for partnering with us to reach these kids, who are reaching their family. One by one, we can empower change, encourage reconciliation and rebuild families.