This post is from my co-worker and friend, Autumn Kerr:
The first full day we spent here, we visited an orphanage in Limon, Costa Rica called Coco's. There were about 10 kids there. And this little boy was the absolute cutest thing ever! He's 2 years old and he's really shy - I don't think he talks. Or if he does, he hasn't yet in front of us. He seems kind of scared and really does not respond well when you try to pick him up and hug him. He let me pick me up on day 1 but he clearly didn't really want me to so of course, I put him back down. He did let me play with him for a long time - I tried to get him to color but he didn't seem to know how or want to. But he was having fun putting the crayons in and out of the box - he probably did this for about an hour. And whenever he would get the crayons all back in, I would clap and say "yay" and he seemed to really love the praise. In fact, it was in that moment that I got a big ole smile out of his adorable face and was able to snap this most adorable picture. He's so cute!!!! I found out through our translator that him and his 4 siblings have been in and out of the orphanage - their mother picks them up and takes them for awhile and then drops them back off. I would imagine that's probably harder than if they had just been dropped off but I don't know for sure. I'm just thinking that they probably never get used to being any one place or with the same people and that's probably why all of them are really shy and don't seem to respond all that way to affection. In fact, I also noticed that they don't seem to be used to anyone playing with them - for how young they are, they seem to just play with each other and a lot by themselves. They are precious, beautiful children. And my heart so breaks for them. I wish I could adopt all 5 of them.
Today, we took the kids from this orphanage and another orphanage to the beach. It was a total blast. We all had so much fun. Thankfully, it stopped raining and we had a rain-free day It was very cloudy but I think that was good because then it wasn't super hot. There was also a pool there and covered pavillion where we ate lunch. And a local company that wanted our tour guide to bring future tours to them for business, took us on a free boat ride down the river and we saw monkeys, slauths and cool birds. And the kids seemed to love it.
The little boy I mentioned above was there today and shy as usual. He got hit in the shoulder by the swingset that a little girl was on and he walked in front of. He started crying and my natural instinct was to run over and just hold him. I tried to and that didn't seem to help. I decided to pick him up and take him to the caregivers that know him but unfortunately they didn't console him as I hoped. And he sat in the chair crying by himself and I was helpless to do anything because I knew if I went to him, he'd cry harder since he doesn't know me or trust me. It totally broke my heart. I had to walk away because I just started bawling. It really broke my heart to see him crying like that, knowing his little shoulder was hurting and he's only 2 years old and I can't even pick him up or do anything to make him feel better. Whew, it took me awhile to collect myself after that. But after a little while, I saw that he was no longer crying and he went near the pool with his siblings and seemed to be ok.
So many beautiful children here. I pray that they will all end up in loving families that will console and encourage and adore them the way they deserve. And I pray that somehow our time here has encouraged and helped them to see their value. And to point them to their father in heaven who will never leave or forsake them.
Follow along as I take this mission seriously and minister to the orphans in this world.
Visiting Orphans...It pretty much speaks for itself. Our lives are made to give away to others and I love it that helping orphans is pure and undefiled religion! Follow along as I take God seriously about this mission and minister to the orphans in this world. He is constantly at work in our lives..we just sometimes have to shift our perspective to notice Him. I pray you will hopefully see Him in the words and pictures below..through my perspective.
This blogpage follows the mission trips I lead to minister to orphans in this world. I am the Executive Director of a mission sending agency called Visiting Orphans. (www.visitingorphans.org) I believe my mission in life is similar to the President of Compassion International, Dr. Wes Stafford. In his book, "Too Small to Ignore" he says, "On one side of this international bridge, my role is to minister to the poor, to the orphans, to "comfort the afflicted." And then I cross the bridge, coming back to the Western, more affluent world, where my job is to speak and write and to "affict the comfortable" to call them to action." Loving people on both sides of the spectrum...
I pray that something in my words or pictures will inspire you to reach out beyond yourself...to GO and help the "least of these".