Today I had a great experience! I went to a park with the boys of Talita Cumi, and God worked in my heart through the boys in a way that couldn't have been done through reading anything (except His Word) or talking.
Juan Carlos on the playground
Going to a park is not something totally out of the ordinary for the boys, but today was, because of the way it came about. Due to a nice high school kid, they got to go to a beautiful park in the city with playgrounds (more than one!) and lots of space to run and lots of beautiful trees. I want to give you this experience through the eyes of one of the boys, Rodrigo, who I think is six years old.
First, of all, we went by taxi, which the boys don't get to do very often, and the whole car ride Rodrigo kept talking about all the big trucks we were passing and other taxis that he say and gas stations. He was super excited about it all! For a six year-old who only ever stays at home or goes to school and church, the ride in itself was quite an experience.
When we got to the park, he was just amazed. He loved walking by the sand field, running up the little hill that had bleachers on it, and seeing the playgrounds. We started playing tag, and he played for awhile, but then he came to me and said, "Look, there's my boat!" Suddenly, the swingset-type-thing was his boat. :) He started running away from the sharks that might be around. Then, he became a shark and we had to run from him. Once, he caught me and was preparing to cut off my head before he ate me (as all non-barbaric sharks do), which I escaped! He instantly morphed into a dinosaur and recaptured me. He cut off my hand to punish me, which made me cry a lot. He was preparing to kill me again when, very seriously, as only a six-year old could do, he slowly raised his arms above his head and became...an angel that saved me! How cute! I had to try pretty hard not to laugh while I thanked him for being so gentlemanly.
Rodrigo's dinosaur face. :)
We played soccer for a long time after the shark/dinosaur/angel game, and he got pretty thirsty, so I took him to get some water. On the way he was delighted when he found two matching old empty pop bottles that he could use to store his own drinking water (also only a six-year old could do this) and loved sharing his water with us (we washed our hands with it instead of drinking it). He also played some great futbol and swang on the swings for at least 45 minutes.
When it was finally time to go home, I was looking forward to seeing his reaction on the return taxi. He was curious to see animals in a big truck, but mostly I think he was exhausted. He just sat on Tio Toni's lap and was content to be there.
I wish I could tell you the ways that God blessed me through these boys today, but words will not do it justice. I learned about having enthusiam for whatever you're doing. I learned from the people who work/help with the boys about being a servant and how that sometimes looks like serving coca-cola when you could be eating, or sometimes looks like playing soccer even when you're exhausted from a long week at college. I learned from the boys about being content with what you have. I learned that some of these boys have horrible stories, but God has a plan for this and still allows them to enjoy life in ways that are harder for me. I learned about generosity from the tios and the high school helper, and I learned how great it is just to spend time with these boys.
Praise God for His faithfulness to His children!