Today we took a bus to a new city, Santiogo. It’s in the mountains and the area our center is in is built on a dump. A giant dump. When we arrived at the center we quickly realized what a busy part of this city we were in. This center is unique in that they focus on the arts – there is music, acting, dance and drawing. Seeing these children who come from nothing dancing and singing was absolutely amazing. A little girl stayed very close to us all day. Tiny, precious, timid and very quiet. She went everywhere we went. She finally held our hands, started smiling and even introduced herself to Jim. Her story is beyond sad. Dad in jail, Mom gone all day taking care of grandmother, living in another shack and one meal a day. She and her two brothers are at the Children’s International center everyday. It’s their safe place and a home for them. We took them to their home on our bus – she was smiling from ear to ear looking out the windows. Her brothers were very polite and invited us to their home. No water – no electricity -2 beds. The oldest boy ran in to the shack ahead of us to straighten the bed before we came in. Proud of his home even as humble as it is. Hard leaving these three children behind. Terribly hard.
We met with 5 young adults who had been sponsored children at our center. 1 lawyer, 1 owner of a hair “salon”, 1 woman who started a Christian school for 32 children in her community, 1 director of public relations and 1 who own his own furniture making business and a teacher at a university. Such an honor meeting these young adults who started out as sponsor children from this slum. They told us how important CI had been to them. Lots of tears were shared.
Update on our little boy from yesterday -evil step dad beat him again last evening and he ran to the police when the step dad left for work. This 5 year old boy was brave enough to go to the police on his own. Please continue to pray for him – he needs an angel right now to protect him. CI is working to get him help and hopefully away from that evil, evil man.
Finally, please pray for this entire community. An illness is sweeping over these communities. It is being
spread by Mosquitos with over 95% of the community becoming ill. We are covering ourselves in spray! It’s not bad enough here for these kids – now this illness is spreading quickly. They have zero protection.
So – a day of more heartbreak. More kids who warmed our hearts. More volunteers at our centers making life better for these kids. Seeing a room with 15 kids learning to read. Meeting 5 incredible adults who were once sponsored children of Children’s International. Seeing 2 little girls dance and being moved to an ugly cry. Raw emotions. Heart hurting. Celebrating bravery from a tiny 5 year old boy.