Saturday, December 29, 2012

Our Church's Christmas Outreach

Something good came out of something kind of bad... that happens a lot with God. Back when Jonah had Dengue we sat in the doctor's office waiting room with a lady, a young teenager, and 2 toddlers. They were very friendly. We found out that they were from a children's shelter here in Petén. It is for the abused and the abandoned. They get some support from a foundation in Spain, but they go out daily asking for food and trying to sell things they've made to survive. I didn't even realize there was something like this in Petén. 

We couldn't stop thinking about this place and really felt like God was putting them on our heart for a ministry opportunity for our church. Jimmy called our pediatrician and he gave us their address. Jimmy went by and found out that the lady at the doctor's office runs the place with her husband. The couple moved here from Guatemala City just to live with and take care of these kids. The love they have for these children is a beautiful thing to witness. 

Jimmy asked them of their specific needs and then got a list of how many boys and how many girls. Here are some of the kids he met that day:
We shared this idea with our church and for several weeks they brought in dry goods and clothing. Here are some of the things our people gave:
 If you knew our people's stories you would be even more challenged by these boxes. It was such a blessing to me to see people give so sacrificially. This will stick with me for a long time.

Our boys are at the just figuring things out stage, so this was a pretty meaningful Christmas for us as a family. We thought it would be great for them to get involved too. We went together and picked out presents for all the kids. 
We explained in general terms about these children's stories. Silas was very troubled. He kept asking if Jimmy and I were going to leave him. I appreciated his tender heart. Giving makes you grateful. Jonah and Silas were both excited about the toys they were going to give away. I was shocked that they didn't try to open anything or fuss about not playing with something. They helped me punch cards to label each present for a boy or girl and helped me cut ribbon. I think they were all in... as in as a little 3 year old can be! 
 The teens and workers got something too:
 This was the first outreach of our church, so we weren't sure how it was going to go. We had lots of people show up the Saturday before Christmas to take the gifts collected to the children.
 It really built a sense of community among our church family. That was a fun bus ride!

Here is Walter, the husband of the husband and wife team! He is explaining a little bit about the place to us.
 Our people were a little shy, but the kids there were even shyer. 
 They warmed up though!
 Some of our people got down at eye level and really took an interest in those kids.
 They helped them open presents and then helped them play with them!
I think they got out of it what they put into it.

I prayed that we would find things that the children would really like.
 This little girl opened her present and gasped, "Oh... a baby doll!"
 I am so proud of our teenagers! I hope we can really build a relationship with these children over time. 
 This is the one little boy who HATED his present! It was no secret! Thankfully there was an older kid who got a big red truck whose friend got tools and he was very eager to trade with this little guy. So he soon ended up much happier!
{Tool belts on and ready to build something!}
 I wanted to take this little boy in the orange home. He was naughty like Silas and he kept calling Jimmy "Papa". I can't imagine anyone being blessed with these children and not cherishing them forever. 
 My boys had fun playing with the kids too.
 Please pray as our church family continues to build a relationship with this children's shelter in the future. We all had a lot of fun that day. Hopefully there will be many more days like that!


  1. What a great outreach! I will be praying for future opportunities and relationships with the shelter.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...