My First Time Visiting an Orphanage
Blog post written by Claire Campo
This is my first trip to El Salvador, and Sunday was my first time visiting an orphanage. I did not know what to expect and felt led to blog about my time at the orphanage with you. On our first day of ministry we visited a government center where we were able to connect with the children, teen girls and teen moms. When we got to the orphanage, we were given a tour of the whole facility. The facility was able to fit many people in tight corridors. It was sad to see the way they were living, but the children were all full of joy and laughter. I donʼt think there was anyone on the team who did not receive a hug from the children.
Half of our team went to hang out with some of the teen girls, and the other half hung out with the teenage mothers and their babies. Mrs. Anderlik and I automatically knew we wanted to go wherever the babies were going because, who doesnʼt love babies? During this time, I fell in love with one of the babies, who we will call "Ryan." Ryan was five months old and the cutest baby I have ever seen. I did not expect to bond with one of the children, especially the babies with whom you can not quite communicate. It really touched my heart to see how close all the moms seemed to be with not only their own children but also with other moms and their babies. The mothers would come up to Ryan and play peek-a-boo with him. He had the biggest smile. He especially loved when I picked him up, put him over my head and brought him down like he was jumping. Saying goodbye to him was very difficult for me because I had felt like we bonded in the four or so hours that we spent together.
Some of the team members who threw a quinceanera for the teen girls two weeks ago were able to distribute photos of the girls from the party. Needless to say, the girls were thrilled to receive their photos!
After we had spent time with the teens and babies, we all met up and were able to distribute a whole suitcase full of jerseys. We were able to give out a jersey and a pair of shorts to each kid and they loved it! Some of the boys were showing us their dance moves via cartwheels and breakdancing. It touched my heart to realize that although these boys have it rough, they are all so full of love and compassion for each other.
Everyone on our team was assigned a verse to remember and pray over during the week. My verse relates directly to the time that our team served in the orphanage…
“Learn to do right. Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.” ( Isaiah 1:17 )
This verse relates directly to my experience because it talks about helping anyone in need, no matter what the case. We should learn to do what is right in God's eyes, which includes becoming accustomed to helping others. I'm so thankful that I've had the opportunity to love and serve orphans this week!