Today was our first day of “working”….and yes, we did; there were classes to help teach, sports to play, plastering on walls, and a backyard to clear….and that was all before noon! 🙂 Our “Mexico 12” worked very, very hard today….everyone is exhausted, and I am so very proud of each of these people. In three days I have learned so much more about them…what an honor it has been to get to do this with these 11 fabulous individuals.
Today we got to experience the “why” behind Lantern Hill…and let me tell you…the why is amazing, and difficult, and beautiful, and quite frankly, I’m not sure I can put it in words. So in the words of the very wise Jean, “just write from your heart.”
Part of our role while being here this week is to get to work in the “summer school” program from 10:00 to 1:00, but the reality is, kids start arriving around 9:00, and we actually saw several of them throughout the day, as they live here in the neighborhood that we are living and working in. The kids range in age from as young 3 and 4. The oldest kids who are helping are 16-17; they have very quickly let us in to their sweet little community and are allowing us to be a part of their family this week; and we are so very blessed.
I have never experienced living amongst such poverty; there is no fresh running water, toilet paper cannot be flushed down the toilet, and flushing is on a limited basis. Showers are minimal, short, and water temperature and volume are variable at best; This was just one day out of the seven we get to be here with these children and the school staff who have welcomed us into their lives….. it is simply seven days TOTAL of mine; however, This Is Their Life. Attending school for these children, past middle school is a feat that very few people in this community have achieved, and attending college is an extremely rare opportunity. The primary goal of Lantern Hill is to support the children who come here, that they learn, grow, and put faith in themselves to go on to higher education. There are many barriers that limit those chances. Pray for the children here, that more of them will get that opportunity in the coming years.
The children and the people I have gotten to meet are loving, courageous, and funny. They are patient with my horrific attempts at speaking Spanish, and yet they make every effort to communicate regardless. We all know that our world is extremely complicated; there are huge divides that are becoming greater rather than smaller. The beautiful fact is however, that when all else fails, a smile and hug never do. Never question the power of human touch, that a kind smile and laughter are universal. A gentle hand to help one another works in every language. We are all human; Praise God for His loving and blessing us ALL.
Find Joy in the Gifts you have today! Thank you for your love and support, ~Shana