I awoke Monday morning to a fabulous sunny day! The sun was shining, the birds were chirping and I was ready to begin the mission that I came here for: to help care for the malnourished children of Guatemala with One More Child. With coffee in hand, our team set out for the hour long trip along narrow, windy roads to the Malnutrition Center.
When we arrived at the Center, I was quite surprised at the size. We started the day with a tour. There were dorm rooms, showers, kitchens, a laundry room, a toy room, a day care center, as well as rooms for the malnourished children.
Then there were the children, the most beautiful, precious children that I heard and read about, were right before my eyes longing for love. I was assigned to the children who were admitted into the Center to be cared for until they are healthy enough to return home. The room had 17 children who ranged from 6 month to 4 years of age, with 2 nannies caring for them.
I quickly noticed that the nannies run a tight ship. It was obvious that the nannies had their hands full, but they never once complained. They treated each child like it was their only child. And there was no rest for the nannies. While the children napped, the nannies, cleaned the toys, disinfected the rooms and folded mounds of laundry.
As this was my first mission trip, I was not quite sure what my role was. Along with assisting the nannies with feeding the children, bathing the children and folding what seemed to be an endless amount of laundry, one of the first things I did was sit on the floor alongside the children. Immediately, the children came over to me, crawled on my lap, showed me their toys, and just wanted affection. I enthusiastically played with the children, I gently wiped their noses, I lovingly held their hands, and as they stole my heart, I knew that my life had changed forever. I knew then that this would be the first day of many more to come.