Team: Baylor University
From: Waco, TX
Written by: Heather B.
Day one of working with One More Child in Guatemala, and I can hardly believe just 12 hours ago I hadn’t lived these experiences! I feel like I’ve lived two days in the span of just one because I have learned and seen so much.
The bus ride up to the Center was full of excitement, everyone taking in the surroundings of the Guatemala countryside and eager to start serving. The journey from the hotel to the Center was filled with hills, forestry and village scenery, and several instances of the bus driver impressing me with how well he could keep us grounded around tight corners. Once in the Center, before we could even put our bags down, we were greeted by the children shouting “hola!” and practically screaming with eagerness to play and interact.
Today I worked with the maintenance team, where we cleared out, cleaned out, and painted two rooms that were being converted into a nursery and a classroom. Several teams worked with the children, or went off site to the elderly adult center or to work with nursing mothers. While not directly working with the children we were still able to see them, and a couple would walk around the corner where we were and peek their heads in through the doors. Simply to see these children, eagerly waving whenever they saw me, or stretching out their arms to be picked up even when I had my hands full, was such a blessing. After we had returned inside from eating lunch out under the pavilion, I was able to hear the children singing from the playroom around the corner and I stopped to take it in. Here I was, speckled and smeared with paint, and these children were lifting their voices in song as if joy was all they had ever known. In this moment I was reminded of the child-like love and kindness that I had completely forgotten about.
One of my teammates pointed out something about the children that I had completely over looked: they don’t fight. The children all seem to share with and hug each other, never quarreling over toys or pouting. This is what I want to take away from this first day – that whatever age, no matter the situation, there is room for love. So much room, in fact, that it can fill hearts and overflow into anyone God puts on our path.