Quinceanera Reflections from a Gringa
Blog post written by Ally Violette, Orange, CA
The 2019 quinceanera was absolutely unforgettable. After attending last year I didn’t expect to be surprised or to have as much fun as I did on my first experience. However, seeing God work over and over again this week was indescribable as we met girls throughout the country, prepared them for the party and danced the night away. I was able to style the girls’ hair again in the final hours before the party at the hotel. It was amazing to see the their faces light up as they looked into the mirrors, marveling at their appearances. It seemed they didn’t want to smile at first because of all of the lies they have been told throughout their lives. We were able to tell them that they are valuable, beautiful and worthy at every orphanage visit. He sent a crazy group of Gringos to celebrate their quinceanera. And more importantly, He sent His son Jesus to heal all of our broken hearts. I saw love of Jesus shining on their radiant faces that evening as they girls gazed into the mirrors. I saw some of the most genuine smiles that I’ve ever observed, received the warmest hugs, and witnessed the best dance moves ever.
I also saw God work through the dance floor. The Salvadorians know how to party and they definitely love to dance! All of the kids that we celebrated have been through so much, way much more than anyone should have to go through, especially a teenager. But as the music began and everyone rushed to the dance floor, their cares, worries, struggles and anxiety were lifted. Nothing but joy permeated the room throughout the evening. As we said our goodbyes to the young men and women that were celebrated, I knew this was a night that I would never forget. I am forever grateful for all of the beautiful people that I had the honor of serving this week through orphanages visits, dress and shoe selections, party prep and the unforgettable celebration.
“You have turned my mourning into dancing, you have taken away my sorrow and surrounded me with joy.” - Psalm 30:11