Saturday, July 31, 2010

Carlos Day 4

Today my sweet Carlos was MUCH better! Hallelujah! I am so glad. Chris went in to see him and was thrilled at how well he was. He said he looked better than even the day we took him to the beach! :) It made my day!
Eyes are open and getting some smiles today! :)

Here is Chris giving some love to Carlos! :) I'm so glad he's there! 

Chris in his "batman suit" as he called it! :)

Carlos' mom showed up again today. She got permission from the judge to see him. It's a sticky situation but Chris says there is no way she can get him back. So, I'm not sure what her concern is now. I'm sure it is a tough situation all the way around. Please pray for the right things to happen and that will keep Carlos as safe as possible. I know his orphanage is not the best place in the world but I don't believe with his mom is either. I don't know if he knows it is her or not. I kinda hope he doesn't. That will be tough on him emotionally if she keeps coming around. :-/ So, pray for discernment on all accounts. She has permission for today and tomorrow. 

Now's it nap time. Sweet dreams. Dream of us on the beach! :)

Back to the trip details... :) Day 3 in El Salvador!

On Day 3 of our trip, which was Tuesday, we went to Cisna. Cisna is an all boys orphanage. Within the walls of Cisna, they go to school, sleep, eat, play, and have extra classes of art, etc. It is not a very pleasant place for the boys. A lot of the boys are wild. But they still all want LOVE. We had a really good day here at Cisna. I enjoyed it.

These boys have SO much talent.

We split the boys up and made their t-shirts while some listened to the story and others played soccer. Some boys just chose to hang out with us and get some attention. Which was fine by me! :)

Stanley, myself, and Luis :)
I think Luis is so handsome. I told Cassidy that he was pretty and then realized that he could speak English. :) He just blushed. So did I. :)
Many of these boys have very tough stories. They have lived on the streets. Been kicked out of their homes. Been left by their parents. Tried to join gangs. Been sexually molested and abused. Physically abused. You name it. They've seen much more than I could ever fathom.

This sweet boy, Douglas. He had lived on the streets with his brother, Jose (picture directly below) for 5 years after their mom left them to come to the States. I am pretty sure that I couldn't survive on the streets now at 24 much less as a kid!
They took a LOT of interest in their shirts! Douglas put the words "Mama" and "Papa" on this shirt. :( They may act rough but they still miss having a family. 

We had a lot of chance to just hang out and give these boys some attention and love. They crave it.  The top picture is of Douglas and me. The next one is Samuel. Samuel has been through a lot. I pray that he can always remember that God loves him. The Starfish Team and Kurt and working on getting Samuel moved back to another orphanage that would fit him better. He is pretty young for Cisna. Then there is Eddie. He was such a love bug. He would hug you and NOT let go. I wish I could have hugged him all day!The bottom is Wilbur. You had to be careful with him, he would snatch your camera. :)

This is Daniel. He and I became buddies. I gave him my friendship bracelet. He was a sweet kid. I wish I knew his story. I was sitting beside him while he was making his t-shirt. He moved my hair aside and looked at my name tag. Then on his shirt he wrote this: 
It says: "Merany mi amiga por sien pre" ("Merany is my friend forever") How sweet is that? I hope that every time he wears that shirt he is reminded of me and that I love him and pray for him. These boys, regardless of their age, want to be loved.

Here are a couple pics of their shirts. Some are very creative. They have a ton of talent!

We also had a cookout for the boys. :) We grilled hundreds of hotdogs. And when I say "we" of course I mean, Russ and George! :) These boys ate and ate and ate until they couldn't eat anymore. :)

Jose had just made it to Cisna a couple days before we got there. He did not have any shoes. I just happened to have a pair of flip-flops in my backpack for him. :) Is it sad that they fit?! He was 10!!! Oh well. He was happy. :)

 After the cookout we had planned on splitting up. Some of us painting faces and balloon animals. Some of us playing games. And some of us cleaning the bathrooms. Of course I hid behind a rock when they ask for volunteers to clean the bathrooms volunteered to clean bathrooms! Well, karma came around and another group of people came to play with the kids, so we ALL got to clean bathrooms! YAY! :) They were pretty nasty. 

No privacy whatsoever. No doors on toilet stalls or shower stalls. They are not made to clean anything. So, as  you can imagine... it was pretty bad. We oddly enjoyed cleaning these bathrooms. It was a time of service to these boys and a bonding time between our team. We also got a few good laughs out of it! :)

Look at that toilet!!!! They had said that a plumber was going to have to be called to get this toilet fixed but Jody, Laura, and Mike prayed over the plunger before they used it and it worked!!! hahaha. Oh, us of little faith!

This was AFTER the bathroom cleaning! My clothes were ruined. I am the messiest cleaner, EVER. :) That is why I buy clothes at Goodwill! :) We had a REALLY good day at Cisna. I hope those boys are still feeling the love that we gave to them that day.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Carlos Update :)

Chris just informed me that I need to update you on Carlos. Today, Chris went again to see him. They have worked with some attorneys and such and they have been granted permission to visit Carlos anytime and for however long they want. :) This is good news. The more love that he feels the faster he will recover. :)

Chris called this the A-Team! :) 

Carlos is still having a lot of congestion! Today, they cleaned out his lungs. I can imagine that Carlos was NOT happy about it. But I sure pray that it helped.
I wouldn't be, would you? 

He was also running a little bit of a fever today. They got it under control before Chris left him. In the middle of their visit there was a riot outside of the hospital! Crazy. 

They had to evacuate the hospital for a little while. But thankfully everything ended up ok. I guess. :-/

Chris says that all the nurses are just falling in love with him. He's a charmer for sure. :)
The doctors and nurses seem to be pretty happy with his improvement. Doctors say he is doing a lot better now....his only problem are his lungs and running fever, he has antibiotics and the nebulizer for the lungs. He is breathing on his own and can make eye contact and squeeze hands really good. :) I sure wish I was there for him to squeeze my hand! God has given me much peace about not being there with him. I still WANT to be with him but God has placed Chris and Lorena there with him. I'm there in spirit! God is still faithful. :)

He's waving Goodnight! :) Don't stop praying for him!!! And for Chris and Lorena. The doctors and nurses.

Also, Chris said Carlos had a roommate at the hospital and that sweet baby passed away this morning. I don't know the whole story but Chris said he was neglected. He's with his Heavenly Father now and being loved and adored.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Update on Carlos...

Chris went back to visit Carlos today. While there, Carlos' birth mom came. It  was a pretty big deal since she was an abusive parent. They weren't sure if she was going to be able to see him or not. Chris wasn't sure how he felt about it, either.
They did let her see him.

I can't seem to figure out why she would want to see him now, since she is part (if not most) of the reason he is where he is today. I struggle with my feelings towards her. I want to give her the benefit of the doubt and think that she has had a change of heart. But I can't bear to think that she is going to hurt (physically or emotionally) Carlos again. I'm not sure if he is even aware that it's her. But anyway, Chris has found a nurse that will stay with Carlos so he won't be alone. She seems from her picture that she is really sweet and should take good care of our Carlos. Chris said it was love at first sight for the nurse when she saw Carlos! :) Praise God. I feel better now knowing that someone will be there to love on him. He has improved today. Praise God again! :) It's still tough to be here and not there but I am feeling better. God is faithful and I know He placed this nurse in Carlos' life to look after him. :) Thanks for the prayers but continue!

This is Carlos hanging on the Chris's hand yesterday! :( He didn't want to let go.
This is Carlos and his new nurse! :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I pause the trip details to....

ask of your prayers tonight. My little buddy, Carlos is sick and in the hospital in El Salvador. He is the one that I formed the strongest bond with while I was there. When I saw him on Saturday, I knew he wasn't feeling well. He is having a lot of trouble breathing, needs blood, and his liver is not functioning properly. They believe that this is stemming from being over medicated and sedated for TOOOOOO long. :( My heart is absolutely breaking being here and not there. I want to be there. To love on him. To pray over him. To make sure that all is being done to help this little man. How different would this scenario be if he were here and in a loving family?? How many people would be at that hospital? Praying over him? Loving on him? Talking to doctors and nurses and making sure that the decisions being made were the right ones? I am thankful, though, that one of our interpreters, Chris, is there. He is the one who informed me of Carlos' status today. He visited him and is looking after him. I just wish I was there, TOO. I do realize that God is faithful and God is with him. But I wish I was there to physically lay my hands on him and pour my love over him.

On Friday of last week, we got to take some of the special needs kids from Cipi to the beach. We had them ALL day. Out of the orphanage and in REAL life. We saw a glimpse of what their lives COULD be like. I had Carlos all day. He felt like mine. I changed him, fed him, sunscreened him, held him while he slept, played in the pool with him, etc. It was the hardest thing EVER to take him back and put him in a crib that wasn't his own. And now, I am here and he is there. I wonder if he is scared, lonely, sad, hurting... If I had the money, I'm pretty sure I'd be on a plane to El Salvador right about now. I ask of your prayers tonight for sweet sweet Carlos. Pray that he can feel real tangible love and peace.

Doesn't he look so content and happy in my arms?! I pray that he can remember that feeling of being held and loved on and that he feels it now while in the hospital all alone.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day 2 of El Salvador! :)

Ok, so day 2 started out with a trip to Cami. Cami is a school for special needs. The kids here are not orphans. Except for 2. The only reason we came to this school is because of one very special little boy. This little boy is Juancito. He has got to be the. cutest. kid. ever. :) The very first mission trip that Starfish took to ES, they met with the people over La Casa (an orphanage). While there, they were told that all of the kids were at school. But they kept hearing some banging or hollaring or just noises. Everytime they heard a noise the workers would mumble under their breath, "Juancito!" Finally, they asked, "What is Juancito!?" The workers told them that it was a little boy who did not get to go to school because he was "special needs". The orphanage could not afford to send Juan to school so he stayed at the orphanage all day by himself. They asked to meet Juancito and when they did they fell in love. He could not speak and was 4  years old. The Starfish team decided that this little boy HAD to go to school. They could see the potential in him. They came home and decided to pay for Juan to go to school. That was 3 years ago. Now, little Juan is doing SO well!! He even gets to transfer to a regular school in January.

We had so much fun at Cami. We put on our famous puppet show and drama. They colored and they got to show us their classrooms. It was a VERY nice school. I enjoyed it. This little guy is Eduardo. He was such a loveable little dude. Can't you tell?

Sebastian was in Juancito's class. He had such a sweet smile.

After we looked through their classrooms, we had a little BIG dance party! They LOVED it. And so did we. :) We danced for probably an hour! :)

Here is a video for you to enjoy! :)

It was a good day at Cami! :)

After we left Cami and got lunch we headed to a Catholic orphanage. The team had never been here before but some kids that they knew had been transferred here and they wanted to see them. It was a very nice place. We didn't get to stay long but we had fun while we were there. Even though, it's a nice place these kids are still without love and families.

This is the girl's room. Very neat and clean and matching. But still, I cannot imagine having to share a room and not have any personal space.

I loved their little matching shirts. :) They were such sweet little girls. We then went to the cafeteria, did our puppet show, made balloon animals, and gave them all a snack. I played with this sweetie. Her name is Valentina. Isn't she gorgeous?!

We then went to the special needs room! Some of these kids had been at Cipi (the orphanage we were at on Day 1) but got transferred so they had more room. These are the kids some of our team was wanting to see.
These kids were so precious. We just picked them up and loved on them for a while.

She was such a little cuddle bug! :) Natalie was her name and I did NOT want to put her down!

It was a good day! :) So much to take in. It can get very overwhelming! But I am so blessed to be used by God to love on these kids that His heart breaks over!