First Steps

For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.”     – Psalm 56:13

Today was an exciting day in the Canaries… our little muy guapo (very handsome) friend took his first steps!  We spent much of the day yesterday walking him and his amigos around the room, their little fingers holding tight to ours.  But this morning, “D” got so excited when he saw Olivia that he forgot he wasn’t holding on to a hand… and three steps later when he reached her arms, he had taken his very first independent steps!  We all erupted into cheers, like crazed fans when our team had just scored the winning goal.  I got my camera out and documented Cesar’s attempts to get him to do it again.  D is still hesitant to let go, but now he knows that we know that he can do it!  Not too different from how God patiently waits for us to cease our hesitations and just let go.  To walk in the light of life.

Pam and I decided that today should be the day of firsts.  We asked the nannies for permission to take babies outside, and they allowed us to take D and the other D, 2/3 of  The Three Amigos (the wild posse that rules the Canaries), to the courtyard just outside the windows of their short term home.  First I put on my sunglasses, and the first D’s lip quivered as he reared back in fear.  It’s so easy to forget the many things that these babies have never seen… like sunglasses.  I pushed them up on my head and reassured D, but then I carried him outside and the lip quiver was back.  Neither boy had any memory of being outside, and they winced at the sun, shuddered at the breeze, and outright cried when we tried to set their little feet on the grass.  We were able to hold them and reassure them and very slowly ease them down onto our laps as we sat on the grass, and then quietly scoot them off our laps onto the foreign green carpet that had never before encountered.  We pulled blades of grass, watched clouds float by, and prayed over these wide-eyed babies as they stared in wonder.  Just another miraculous day at the Malnutrition Center.

I am assigned to the Canaries, but my “of course we never have favorites, non-favorite” baby from last year has graduated to the Ducks & Squirrels; I used my break time to sneak away and find him.  I found him outside flying kites with the other Duck and Squirrels.  Olivia told me that Guatemalans traditionally fly kites the first week of November in celebration of a cultural holiday.  I’ve actually never successfully flown a kite myself, but these kids were running full-steam with kites soaring above!  If I had a dollar for every moment today that I’ve been grateful to be here in the midst of such encouragement instead of in the U.S. today avoiding social media, I’d be a very rich woman!  No matter what happens when the polls close tonight, Jesus is Lord and God is King, and never has that been more joyfully apparent than here in the mountains of Guatemala.

P.S. And yes, we all voted before we came.  😉

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