A Padrino’s First Visit…
Thoughts from one of our Padrino’s making their first trip to meet their sponsored child…
I closed my laptop at 1:20 A.M., having finished up last minute work before leaving from home at 4:25 A.M. to head to the airport. This would be the first trip that I would leave my work behind on a trip. The dichotomy of having been on more than 150 overseas trips on 6 continents yet not having done a true mission trip had my thoughts.
I would meet our sponsored child for the first time that afternoon, unsuccessfully fighting back tears of joy, some for her difficult past and others for the opportunities that will shape her future. A first hug seemed to last forever, each with our own unspoken reasons. What was a priceless moment, began to include the other 49 children hugging, smiling and sharing. And so would encompass the days spent at the orphanage.
The children had never been given the insights into life that are shared from parent to child. The basics of life had been ignored them prior to their arrival at COPPROME. COPPROME was providing them safety, opportunity, encouragement and most importantly God. Not a single complaint was heard, only appreciation for the basics of life that were brought to them. The excitement of a child getting a used pair of cleats. The “gracias” for used clothes that may not fit the best. The children were reshaping me and my thoughts as I bore witness to what it truly is to be thankful.
The caregivers of COPPROME that watch over the children, some traveling 2 hours each way daily to care for them. What more can one say about the devotion of ensuring that a child of God is cared for? Speechless!
The widow in the pew that pulled the 4 Lempiras (19 U.S. cents) from her shirt to give in the collection basket at mass was straight out of the bible. Anna Maria taught us what faith really was by expressing that she was OK, despite having no home and sleeping on a wooden plank bed covered by a plastic tarp.
The visits to Monte de Olivos, Palermo and Siete de Abril were filled with repeated actions of faith and hope that inspired all present. I was humbled by the smiles, the warm receptions and the pride with which they conducted their daily lives.
The souls of each of us has been etched with a journey with God. Is yours willing to experience the immense rush of emotions to hear a child’s story, to laugh with them over the silliest of things while planting seeds in their souls that will provide them the courage to grab ahold of opportunities for their future? What I enjoy most about giving to children in need is that the children carry forward the seeds you plant with them…seeds that will outlast our lives here on earth.
Few moments in life present the opportunity to be so close to God that regardless of the circumstances you and those around you feel safe, secure and OK in the moment. This trip has been such an experience and I wish I had started doing this years ago.
Matthew 25:40, And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.
Todd (2015 Missionary)