Thursday, January 11, 2007

A day in His presence-Day 1

Dear brothers and sisters,

We just got back from a fabulous dinner at a local restaurant. To provide some only cost about $20 per person including beverages, steaks, appetizers, etc. The quality of food was excellent. And I mention this first because it was perhaps the least important.

I experienced Christ today in the form of children. I met multiple little ones with pretty extreme complications. Two little girls have a skin disease that was perhaps the most shocking. Their bodies do not produce the protien which enables our skin to heal itself after abrasions. Additionally, things we take for granted like wearing clothing and coloring a coloring book destroys their sensitive skin. Colleen, the leader of the trip said that eventually these girls will die of cancer. There is not a cure and the only treatment is the application of Aquaphor for comfort. Humbling, yes? Joanna, a little girl of about 1 and a half years is severely deformed in the face...but not by genetic mutation. Rather, her mother attempted to perform an abortion on herself with a coat hanger, tearing away at her face. Another girl suffers from severe burns because her father was mad one day and burnt the house down while she was still in it. Other suffer with dementia, enlarged glands, downs syndrome and countless others about which I know nothing. But amidst all of this, the staff, children, and directors of the orphanage are overflowing with joy. Sister Valeriana is sure to hug, kiss and cradle as many children as possible. The staff is relentless to speak words of love and patience, even to those who may be to disconnected to understand. No child is left feeling alone. And there are over 250 children in the orphanage.

Bogota is massive. On our way to the orphanage, we were able to see the lush mountains, the gargantuan churches (some date back to the 1400s), and the impoverished villages. It is a city on a hill, but also one that is hurting. Something interesting of note...very few places are flat to walk either walk up or down due to the city being built on mountains.

Tomorrow, we leave bright and early to Carceza-the home of the second facility. In this section of Bogota, over 5,000 children deemed as "street kids" suffer from disabilities. This facility will house 200 of them. We will be painting, gardening and cleaning...lots of labor and I am really looking forward to it! Saturday, we will host a party for the children-bringing a second Christmas to them from the States.

I will continue to keep you updated. This is really interesting for me. Never before have I been on a trip in which the message of Christ only resonates in the hearts of a few. I keep praying for His strength. He is faithful.

Keep praying, my friends. Pray that the Holy Spirit will come and shake the core of this team: Mike, Betty, Laura, Clare, Megan, Linda, Matt, Spencer, Jared, Greg and others.

Jesus, be the my my hope, be my song, Jesus.

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