Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Praise God! :)

This sweet boy has been found and he is SAFE! :) :) Hallelujah! So many prayers went up for this little man over the last few days and God did NOT return void! Not only did he allow someone to find Fransisco, he allowed him to be reunited with his family!!! :) He's no longer an orphan. He found his mother and she took him back in! :) We're not completely sure why she sent him to Cisna in the first place... possibly so he could go to school... but I know he is happy! It is so amazing to see how God works! He knew that as long as Fransisco was in Cisna he would not be reunited with his mom and siblings! But God definitely works in mysterious ways! And He knows how to check our faith!!! I am so thankful! I am trying not to worry about him. With being out of the orphanage they are not protected! He could still get involved in things that are not good! We must continue to pray for him and the decisions that he makes!

His mom also said that she would allow visitors for him! I know this has made Robin happy! We will be able to send people to check on him and make sure that he is doing well!! I'm trying not to be selfish and be sad that I won't see him next time I go to Cisna! But our God is faithful! :)

Monday, October 25, 2010


Last week, Robin (Starfish and El Salvador friend) told me that Fransisco was moved from Cisna to another orphanage. We're not really sure why he was moved to a different orphanage. He was happy at Cisna. And that was his home. Robin said she feared that he would run away. Well, on Thursday she got the dreaded email that her fears had become reality. Fransisco had run away from his new orphanage. Fransisco is such a sweet sweet boy. He doesn't seem the type that would be able to stand up for himself on the streets. He is only 14.

My heart has hurt constantly since learning of this news. At dark, I can't help but wonder if he's scared. If he's cold. If he's hungry. If people are leaving him alone. If people are helping him or hurting him. There are so many dangers on the streets of El Salvador. I've seen it when feeding the homeless. And I can't imagine little Fransisco being one of the faces of the homeless.
And Fransisco is the one who took ALL of the pictures on my camera the day we were at Cisna and even when we were at Cipi and he was there for the celebration.
I've prayed constantly for him. We all have been. We pray that he's trying to get back to Cisna or to the family that he has. They didn't want him but maybe they will take him back in or at the least send him back to Cisna.

He looks so happy here! I just can't imagine how his life has changed so drastically in the last few days. 

The person who runs Cisna has said that if Fransisco shows up there then they will let him in. We're not sure if he'd be able to stay there but atleast they would let him in until they figure something out. Jon (who is another missionary in ES) is staying in contact with Cisna and will be going there tomorrow hoping to find something out about him. There are just so many things that could happen to him but I am praying, along with LOTS of others, that God will place angels ALL around him and protect him. I pray that he can feel the peace of God during this time and know that he is not alone! I pray that God places people in his path that will HELP him and not harm him. That he will ask how to get back to Cisna or to his family.

That someone somewhere will give him something to eat. He's been gone for 5 days now and I can't imagine how hungry he is. Please please please join me in praying for Fransisco! I know that God knows right where he is but it is killing us to not know ourselves! Faith. We have faith that God is protecting him. Please comment and let me know that you are praying for him! And I will be sure to post when we hear that he's found and safe!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Orphan's Parents.

We pity the orphan. We care for the orphan. We love the orphan. But so many times I wonder about the orphan's parents. Every child we see has a mother and a father somewhere. Where are they? Who are they? Why did they give up their child? So often I automatically want to judge the birth parents. But then the Lord reminds me, that they (surely) are hurting for their child. What woman can carry a child in her womb just to forget them completely once they are born!? I hardly believe that a woman can 100% forget about that child. I'm sure she never forgets the day that child was born.

There are many reason why a child is orphaned. Maybe the parents died. Maybe the parents couldn't care for them. Maybe the mom was abused and never wanted to be pregnant. And some, okay many, cases the child was probably abused and not cared for properly.

While in El Salvador this past time we met a girl. She was so sad. She cried and cried and cried that day we were at Cipi. I don't have a picture of her but when I get one, I'll post it. A few of the girls sat down and talked with her. Finally, they got her to open up. She told us why she was there. Never have I heard a story quite like this one.

She told us that her mom worked a lot. And while she worked this girl would go out and hang out with gang members. Her mom begged her over and over to please stop hanging around them. The mom knew the danger her daughter was in while hanging with these gangs. But the mom could not protect her constantly because she had to work and provide. The mom started telling her that if she didn't stop hanging around the gangs then she would send her to the orphanage to live. The girl, like most young children, did not take her mother seriously. She kept hanging with these people. Time after time the mom told her daughter the same thing. And time after time the daughter did not listen. So, the mom, not knowing what else to do to keep her daughter safe, decided to send her to the orphanage. The grandmother stepped in and told them that she would take her to keep her from the orphanage. This still did not wake the girl up. She still hung around with the gang members. She did this until the grandmother could no longer handle it. So, they stood their ground and sent her to this orphanage.

Now, imagine this. Put yourself in both sets of shoes. The girl and the mom. The girl repeatedly said that she wishes she would have listened to her mom. Because now, she's stuck in this orphanage with no privacy, without her mom and her grandmother, and with tons of other children. Now put yourself in the mom's shoes. Imagine putting your child in an orphanage only because you HAD to work and your child was not safe. She was doing what she had to do to provide for them but in doing that she could not keep her own child safe. She tried everything she knew to try. I can only imagine what she's feeling. I'm sure she feels like a failure in keeping her child safe. Sure she is hurting not having her child at home where she belongs. I just can't imagine the fear that she had each day as she went to work... not knowing if her daughter was going to be safely back at home when she got there.

I'm not sure if the mom can just come back and get the girl or if the court will have to give her release. I'm sure it won't be as easy to get her out. But I pray for them. I pray that they can make their way back to each other and that the sweet girl will stay away from the gangs. 

There are just SO many different types of orphans. You just never know the whole picture. For every orphan there are 2 parents somewhere. And at least ONE of those parents (the mother) knows about the child that was born. She knows and surely she remembers. I think it is important to pray for the parents of these children as well as the children. Some of the parents will be abusers, some will be gone, some will be wondering where their child is, and some will always hurt for the child they had to give up for the child's benefit.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

While We Wait...

"While We Wait" taken from RR blog

While we wait for the perfect timing...
they hope they can wait another day.

While we wait for more money...
they wait with nothing.

While we wait for a home with enough room...
they wait for room in OUR hearts.

While we wait for others approval...
they wait with any dignity they can find.

While we wait for the ideal child....
they wait knowing they are not.


While we wait trying to decide if we can manage another...
they wait trying to manage on their own.

While we wait to see how much we have to give to them...
They are waiting to give us even more.


While we wait for God to provide...
He waits for us to take the first step so He can.

We must NEVER use 'waiting to hear from Him' as an excuse for not doing what He has ALREADY commanded in the bible for us to do... proclaim the truth, care for orphans, serve others, be His hands of justice for the poor, and show compassion.

(James 1v27)

So, what are you waiting for??

**I redid some of the photos to add in my El Salvador "babies".**

Thursday, October 14, 2010


On Friday, our last day, we went to Cisna. Cisna is very close to my heart. It is a former prison. It is now home to around 50 and sometimes up to 75 boys. Their ages range from about 9-18. These boys don't have much structure, discipline, or love. But they are the sweetest things, ever. They want to be loved and love just like all the other children.

Eduardo :)

These boys like to play, have fun, take pictures, etc, but they are hurting. They are scared. They want their mamas. They want love.

Poor Diego just had 4 teeth pulled! He needed some loving from a mama!

They did some dental there at Cisna. The boys weren't happy about it but I'm sure it made them feel better afterwards!

While most of the day was spent just loving on the boys and having fun with them, we also did our bible story with them. These boys have MANY "Goliaths" in their lives. Brian did an amazing job at sharing with them what their Goliaths could be and how with God you can overcome them and defeat them.

The boys really opened up to us and told us about things in their lives.

While most of those were issues with being at Cisna, one boy, Brian, opened up about how he was scared. Scared because in 2 months he will be 18. That means in 2 months, he will have to leave Cisna. Cisna isn't much, but it's shelter. It's food. It's home to these boys. It may not be a good one, but it's all they have. While he is at Cisna he does not have to worry about food and shelter. When he leaves, he will have no where to go. No money to start out with. No one to make sure he is safe. While most kids can NOT wait to turn 18, this sweet boy is dreading it. How often do you see that?

Such a humbling experience for us.

The missionary is working on finding a way that Starfish can help him after he leaves or somewhere else he can go. I pray they figure something out.

We cleaned in their cafeteria. Let me tell you, it was better than their bathrooms! :) Haha.

Then we handed out swimming trunks. :) They were excited to see those. Most of the day, though, Fransisco or Eduardo or Juan had my camera so I don't have many pictures of those. :) They had a ball, though, taking pictures. :)

My buddy, Daniel! :) We made friends in July and I sent him a package in August. He was SO excited to see me and I was SO excited to see him! :) :) He was so upset when we left. As was I.

Playing with my Ipod. Which they LOVED. :)

Sweet Dennis. We made friends, too. I wrote him a letter before we left to tell him that I would be praying for him and would miss him and glad that we were friends. He wrote me back, said I was his friend, too and that he was so thankful that we had come and brought them joy and happiness. He asked me to pray for him a lot so that he could get out of Cisna. I just pray that if he does leave Cisna it will be with family that love him and that he will be safe and make good choices.

I had such an amazing time at Cisna and it absolutely broke my heart to leave them. I loved it in July but it grew even deeper into my heart this trip. I have constantly thought of these boys. Their living conditions are terrible. They don't have many people that care about them. They have people here that care for them and love them but we can't see them very often. I know they know that we love them but I just wish it were more than a few times a year that we could see them. They understand their losses. They get that how they're living is bad. And  yet, all they want to do is HUG you and love you and have you love them back. How many teenage boys here, hug on everyone? None. But that's all these boys do.

These boys have art classes that they take. And they are extremely talented!! :) They allowed us to purchase some of the things that they had made and of course we did! Here is Eduardo and myself with the things of his that I bought! :) He is so talented. 

This sweet boy is the reason that I did NOT have my camera all day! But it was kind of a blessing. I got to hang out and fellowship and not take time outs for pictures. :) He did a good job. I love Fransisco. He is such a sweet guy and absolutely LOVES to hug!!! :) *This was a self-portrait. I had many of these.* :)

We had a pinata for them at the end. :) They acted a little "BIG" for this but they sure loved the candy! :) 

The hardest part about leaving Cisna is that they follow you. They follow the bus looking in the windows. They can't seem to say goodbye. They follow us to the gate and they have to get off. They have to stay in that place they call home. They have to stay and we have to leave. They're stuck on the inside and we're stuck on the outside. It's not fair. :( I love those boys and pray for them often. I think throughout the day and wonder what they are doing. If they are being good to the other boys. I wonder if they are feeling loved. I wonder if they're crying, if they're hurting, if they're happy. I just wish I could be there ALL. THE. TIME. Ugh...

Until next year, boys. Until next year. It seems so far away.

When we were here in July, we worked one day with the Fuller Center. I wrote about that here. We had the opportunity to work along side Mike and the Fuller Center again. (Mike is also the man who rents the beach house and opens it up for us to take orphaned children to and have the time of their lives) We worked in a very poor community this time. We got to repaint some playground equipment, clean up the play yard, do Bible stories, crafts, games, and pray and love on the people of this community. Most of the time there, I played with a few little mischievous boys. :) They are so stinkin' cute, though.  
Don't they just look mean?? :) They were sweet, though. 

JB and Christian :)

We had a very fun day there. :) We also had some time to just talk and pray with the people of the community. They do not ask for better homes, clothes, or anything else. They just ask for safety and jobs so that they can provide. They have it right. They don't need "things". They need the necessities and Jesus. :)
I wish I had some before and after pictures of the playground but I didn't get any on my camera. When someone else posts them I'll add them on. :)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

On Wednesday, we took the kids with special needs back to the beach! We took them in July and decided to do it again! This time we took about twice as many and at the last minute decided to take the teen moms/pregnant teens with us. It was such a good day. It is SO amazing to see kids that are normally trapped in wheelchairs and/or cribs FREE and able to have fun and laugh! I am so blessed to be trusted with such amazing angels of God. These kids have it all right. They know all they have to do in life is LOVE. It is just a sad reality that most of these kids are not loved in return. I hope they felt that love on Wednesday and I pray the feeling stays with them for a LONG time.

On the way! Leigh Ann and Salvador! :)

Chelsie and Natalie (the sweetest most cuddly thing, EVER!)

Carson and Brian aka Spitter!

Chillin' on the blankets! They sure beat a crib for a while! And especially with the ocean breeze and sunshine! :)

I love love love this boy!!! Ernesto!

I almost didn't put this up because it really looks like sweet Ernesto is in a LOT of pain which is inflicted by me, but I don't think that's the case....or atleast I hope not! :)

Mario. His eyes are so beautiful!

Getting in the ocean! The kids really LOVED it!

They also loved time in the pool!!

The Tias didn't want these kids to miss out on the cookies so they mixed up oreos and milk! :) It smelled good! These sweet girl is Doris. She is precious and a little monkey!

On the way home :( Not wanting to give him back! And I don't think he wanted to go back either.   

We were worn out after this day but it was so worth it. I also got to see Carlos when I got back to Cipi. I kissed on him and held him for only about 10 minutes. I kissed him for each person that I could think of that had been praying for him! Which was a LOT!! He smiled and even giggled! I didn't have my camera and no one was in the room to witness it but it surely was a precious moment between the 2 of us! I will miss that boy so much. I did meet with Karmina who works for Isna (the government offices over the orphanages) and she gave me some good news in which I will be sharing SOON!