Feliz Acouna- or Happy Sabbath to ya in Chippewa! Today I visited San Juan Church in Pucallpa and it was a great change of pace and start to the new year. I just loved the native tribal ladies- the same ones we also see 'round town selling us jewelry and handmade goods with their cute Peruvian outfits and deep wrinkles from years of working in the sun. This New Year has started with a bang with orphanage goodbyes and memories that will last forever, lice, parasites, new student missionaries Andrew and Kristen coming to AMOR, as well as our sm family of Allie, Lisa, Arrie, and Seth returning, preparation for travel in only 4 days, a new computer, and a change of major!!
Wow that's a lot I know- so let me try to rewind! My third week in the orphanage went quite well overall. We had fun with the kids playing Peruvian Monopoly, making edible dough, coloring, exercising, and listening to American music. We also taught English lessons to some of my favorite teenage girls ever Patty and Nikol! And finally but definitely not least, I lost my heart to the cutest boy on earth Jorge- an eight year old who has muscular dystrophy but walks around and laughs like a normal kid.
The orphanage was hard- Yes! But it was an experience like no other that I know I will not soon forget. These kids have buried their way into my heart! I know that I will think about them often, think about their faces, their smiles, their energy, and their lives knowing that most of them will continue to struggle or go back to a family that can hardly provide for their needs. One story that I feel I will never forget is the story of my dear friend Nikol. She is fourteen years old and her dad was fourteen when he had her. When she was five years old, her mother left her and her father for another man (her daddy's brother to be precise). Social services took control of the situation and talked to Nikol's mother while Nikol was present begging her to take care of her child. Her mom replied that she didn't care what happened to the little girl and wanted her lover instead. Thus at five years old Nikol felt unwanted. Nikol's dad did not have enough money to take care of her and provide her food. Her house had no lights nor clean water. She would wait until it rained to fill up buckets of water to drink and she would add sugar to give her energy to go through the day. She wasn't given food nor any materials for school. Over the years gradually she has gotten a little more support but nothing adequate for her needs. She gets one sole for lunch and one from dinner. The poor girl is starving! Starving for food, starving for love, starving for a true family!
When I heard her tell me her story for the first time I wanted to scream. It's so unfair! What can I do? I have to be able to do something I told my friend Megan. Stories like that can't be that common- but they are. And it frustrates me so much! I want to help these kids- I want to change their lives- I want to have the power to fight against injustice and for children's rights...
Thus while I'm still brainstorming and praying about ways to help the orphanage more and more and how we can really reach these kids.. I decided to change my major to Global Policies and Services with a minor in international rescue and relief. I've learned upon coming here that the medical field isn't what I built it up to be. I don't hate it but I don't love it either and to be honest I believe that physical therapy would be a little slow or boring career for me. I feel called by God to serve Him, to stand up for children's rights, and to travel around the world, to be a missionary for a time, and to understand global problems- thus with much praying, thinking, and contemplating with friends- I believe that GPS with a minor in rescues is right for me.
So new major, said goodbyes to the kids at the orphanage... NEW COMPUTER =) I believe I should be able to blog a lot more lately. Big thanks to the most amazing family in the world that I love and miss every single day and for Allie and her family for bringing this computer.
And good news- I'm now lice free! Thanks to my superhero Lisa who spent like two hours combing through my conveniently short and thin hair taking out all the knits. And I'm also taking a parasite test to find out what kind of wormies I have in my stomach (Fun Stuff in Peru!!)
So Happy New Year everyone! I hope you make it a good one. Something God has been teaching me lately is the power of perspective and positive thinking. My verse for the week is Philippians 4:8 and I'm trying to really trust God with this year as well as the rest of my life. Sometimes even when situations don't make any sense to us, God has a perfect plan that you will see later. I love you lots everyone and I thank you so much for your support. I truly appreciate every prayer and message of encouragement more than you know. Often it's the little things that keep me going! Te quiero mucho! Dios de bendiga!