I just returned from spending the week at the Aldea Infantil Orphanage. I went there with my friend Megan and our journey started the day before Christmas. Honestly I'm struggling. The orphanage really shook me up. It was a week like no other.
Honestly I feel broken to pieces. I feel like someone grabbed my heart then ripped it up scattering the pieces in different places around the earth. I feel like I have no love left. I hate my selfishness and I hate what has happened to so many kids- and the fact that I can do nothing to change it.
I wish I could say that the entire time I was at the orphanage, I was happy and filled with joy and energy. I ran and danced around hugging the children and constantly kissing their faces- because that's what they deserved! But honestly while I was there, I had to force myself to smile and pretend I was having fun when I played with the kids, while silently counting down the minutes til my break. During any break we had Megan and I would just lay down on our beds- fan ourselves trying to prevent the sweat from dripping down our foreheads- and question God "Why?"
Why am I here? Why am I in Peru? Why did I come to this orphanage for 3 weeks just to begin establishing relationships with kids that I won't be able to continue? Why do some kids have to suffer so bad?
I don't want to love anymore and honestly I feel like I have no love left. I know that I must gain strength from the Lord to continue and the cliche saying that "God must break us in order to remake us" but it's just challenging. In some ways I feel like Jacob fighting with God. I know God is stronger. I know God loves me. I know He has a plan. But in some ways, it just makes me sick. I'm tired of being cliche about my relationship with God. I want deep real relationships and I'm homesick for love.
Megan and I were emotionally and physically drained at the orphanage so we decided to return to our Peru family for the weekend. I praise God for them because they are an amazing support group and God often uses each other to care for each other. I can't imagine being a missionary without them.
Now that I've told you how I feel about the orphanage, let me tell you about a few beautiful children that live there.
To start with there is Patty. She's 16 years old and has parents that sent her to the orphanage for her misbehavior and for sneaking out. She cuts herself and is supposedly "goth" but she is a total sweetheart and so helpful. She loves learning English with me, painting her nails, and helping us cook in the kitchen. To me she seems beautiful, sweet, and loving.
Then there's Josue Carlos, a 13 year old boy, who loves attention, playing games, and holding hands. He's eager to hug you, give you high fives, or play a good game of basketball. He's quick to help out and runs to show you love in many different types of ways.
There is Gabriella, who is my "sister" and who is very sweet but shy. She is a Lesbian and is very quiet and reserved. When she opened my Christmas present to her, her eyes were so bright and beautiful. She gave me a hug and thanked me genuinely. She was so excited for her sandals, colored pens, and beanie baby bear.
Meet Daniel, a special ed 19 year old who sits outside most of the day grateful to be talked too or for his hand to be held. He's always thirsty and calls out "Aqua aqua" probably because he has to be spoon fed water and most people don't take the time to talk to him. He smiles often and giggles opening his big mouth and making strange but joyful gawking noises.
Meet Sebastian, a little two year old, who always wants to be held. You can find him chasing the gringos with his arms in the air ready to be lifted high. Once you hold him, you can't put him down or he will probably start crying, lying on the ground making a big scene. He knows to stand up though before his house "tia" comes over and gives him a big smack for making a scene.
So that's just a few of the kids we work with at the orphanage. While we are there, we help with cleaning, cooking, and playing with the kids. I'm learning alot from being at the orphanage and definitely learning that life goes on...