This is one of those posts I struggle about posting. I hope you all realize this is not about me, but about sharing some of the love that has been shown to me with all of you.
Yesterday was full of a lot of wonderful moments. I just wanted to share them with all of you.
The day did not start off so hot. We found out that the sickness we were struggling with could be swine flu and had to go to the hospital to be tested. In the case of swine flu in honduras you have to be quarantined in the hospital. We were a lot more worried about being quarantined indefinitely than we were about the swine flu. So we hop in the car and head over to the clinic to get our reference letter for the hospital and find out WE DON´T HAVE TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL!!!! There was much rejoicing, the hospital is a scary place. But we do still have to go get tested so we go over to the health clinic in charge of testing and spend about 4 hours wandering around there and trying to figure out where we´re supposed to be. Once we finally get to where we´re supposed to be it is a pretty quick process and we find out that we DON´T HAVE SWINE FLU!!! We just have the regular flu and we should be towards the end of the cycle. That was a huge relief and a major blessing. So then we head home to rest, rest, rest and drink lots of water.
I was feeling great in the afternoon so Darwin and I decided to head over to the boys home again. We had promised them we would come on Sunday and I was feeling pretty crummy about having to break that promise so I was very glad when it worked out.
At the boys home as soon as we walk in one of the counselors we´ve made friends with lights up and starts introducing me to some other spring break volunteers that were there for the day. He kept finding them across the yard and bringing them over to say hi. It was really neat to see how happy he was to have us there.
Upon arrival all of the kids immediately start trying to sell you these bracelets that they make. Last time I bought a bunch, this time I wasn´t buying any. So later on as I´m sitting down playing Rummikub with a few of the boys one of the kids comes up and is playing with my hand. The next thing I know he´s putting a bracelet on my arm and I´m saying, no, no, I´m not buying any bracelets today. His response, "No, this is for you, it´s a gift." and ducking his head. I look down at the bracelet and it says "I love you mom". When I looked back up he had disappeared. It was all I could do not to tear up right there. He came back by later to give me a hug and talk for a while.
Julio Cesar is making some dangerous choices with the friendships he´s making so Darwin and I both spent some time talking about how important your friends are when you are trying to change. Evidently he later on told Darwin that we were the only people that ever worry about him and that we were his only family. He´s trying really hard to make the right choices and we´re hoping to get him into a home that will help him do just that.
Just in general, visiting the boys is a very rewarding time. I love all of their smiling faces and their sweet words. God is definitely using them to bless my life and I pray that they are being blessed in return.
At the feeding tonight things went really well too. Everyone was in a good mood and just playful to be around.
At the park I was sitting on a bench talking to one of the teens when a mid-twenties guy walked up and started to lean in. My first thought was, "uh-oh, watch the hands and the lips, he´s probably going to try to kiss me", not an uncommon occurance. But instead he leaned down and whispered, "You´re an angel" and sat down on the end of the bench. It was a really sweet exchange. He wasn´t hitting on me he was just letting me know that he saw God´s hand in what we were doing. What more could you ask for?
And finally, sweet Nelson. Nelson is 16 and really eager for us to open up the building so that he can get off of the streets. Nelson is always helpful and never tries to start fights. As you might imagine, Nelson is another of my favorites. For a couple of weeks now Nelson has been asking me to take him to see a movie. Not in an obnoxious way but more in a teasing playful way. So on Saturday I told Nelson that if he came on Monday without huffing glue we would take him to see Alice in Wonderland. Well on Monday we were all sick and I had a group with me and Nelson had been huffing so all of those things led to us not taking him to the movies and being a very sad kid. So last night he was deciding whether he was still angry or not as he sat down to talk with me. These kids have so much disappointment in their lives that it´s so hard for me to see that in them but at the same time it´s vital that we establish boundaries and stick to our word. So I talked to Nelson for a long time about how much I cared about him and I make the rules that I do and at the end of it he starts digging around in his backpack. He finally comes out with a small wooden necklace that he wrapped twice around my wrist as a bracelet and gave me a big hug. I have to believe that even in the midst of frustration and disappointment, these kids know that we love them. And our deal still stands with Nelson, when he shows up without huffing Darwin or I will take him to the movies. Pray that he is successful in taking this small step towards freedom.
Wow that turned out to be pretty long. Thanks for sticking with me if you made it this far. We´ve got a team coming in starting tomorrow so I´ll probably be hit or miss for a while, but I love your comments, they keep me writing. Love you guys!