19 Dec Just like the wise men. . .
This team worked and played hard this past week. . Our goal was to bless 200 children and families with toys, clothes and food. . . As usual. . That goal was surpassed because of all of you who prayed. . donated money. . and donated time.
Our first day was spent organizing all of the toys and gifts making sure that we were ready to distribute them to all 3 villages and to Copprome Orphanage. . . All of our team members (but 1) had traveled with us before so they were ready and excited to jump in and work! We had tables and tables filled with things for all ages. . It was so exciting to look around the room and realize how many sweet people were involved with obtaining all of these gifts. . H2H is so blessed to have so many people involved. . So many people willing to do so much for others. . We ended that day with some time at Copprome loving on the kids and then to Power Chicken for some amazing food!
Sunday morning we joined the kids of Suyapa for church and the Christmas party after. . . Obviously. . All the kids in the village had heard Santa was coming. . We had planned for 75 kids there. . But there were 120+. . . All very excited about Santa and the North Americans who cared enough to come. . This was all a first for them. . No one had ever come and thrown a party before and the excitement was contagious. . And a little overwhelming. . In a good way. . I mean. . They came for Santa and they received so much more. . Amy (our children’s pastor from Hope Church in Franklin, TN) brought the story. . Of the wise men and the star. . It was so powerful. . And every child was mesmerized by her delivery and Gabriel’s excellent interpretation. . (and Terry, the Wise Man). . . They spoke together so well. . So effortlessly. . Like they had been working together for years. . 2 hearts that are so full of love for children. . Then you add Pastor Carlos in the mix. . 3 hearts that are overflowing with compassion for all children. . They were able to connect with kids that Pastor Carlos had invited before but never came. . They experienced The Word and the Spirit of life. . Not sure how many even realized why they felt what they felt. . But it will be revealed in His perfect timing. . . Then the party and Santa. . Face painting. . Balloons. . Music. . Dancing. . . Hugs. . Cookies. . Juice. . . And gifts. . The elves behind the scene sorting. . Reorganizing. . Making sure every child had a toy. . Shew! It was hectic. . But so sweet to see the joy on the kids faces as they left to go back to their homes. . Homes that we don’t understand. . Homes that are basic shelters. . Homes that may not have much joy . . But today, they were happy and excited. . Santa and the Holy Spirit filled that place. . We left there exhausted and excited. . With a promise to return on Monday night for a special service with them.. . Probably a little selfish on our part. . We wanted more of what we experienced in that place. .
We returned to the hotel for dinner and a movie with the Copprome kids. . They came to the hotel and watched Frozen on a huge screen and were mesmerized during the entire movie. . They had seen it before. . But not on a big screen like that. . We all sang along. . From Harry, the baby . . . to the oldest ones of us. . We all enjoyed it!
Monday was a crazy fun day of Santa giving out toys. . T-shirts . . Rice. . And beans to the families of Olivos and Coroza. . .the kids and adults were excited to see us drive up with the van and truck full of goodies! We laughed as we traveled from Olivos to Coroza on the bumpy dirt roads eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and chips. . . Thank you Lori and Amy for the preparation . . It was a sweet day with lots of smiles and genuine thanks for bringing them some joy. .
Then back to Suyapa for an evening of worship and a skit performed by the kids. . They are so spiritually strong. . It was contagious as we watched them raise their hands. . close their eyes. . and sing. . It was definitely a highlight of our trip!
Tuesday was our Copprome Christmas party. . . Complete with music. . dancing. . . face painting. . . Balloons. . . popcorn. . . Juice. . . Santa. . Toys. . . Backpacks and lots of happy smiles and hugs. . I am not sure I have ever seen them so happy and engaged in what we were doing. . It was a sweet afternoon. . . Lots of tears as we said our goodbyes. . Lots of sponsors were on this trip so the kids always feel a little sad when they go. . . But it is worth it for the time they have together!
We were treated to a surprise dinner the last night that was delicious and special. . . H2H is so blessed by the people we serve who are always wanting to thank us in special ways. .
Our final breakfast was a huge surprise from Pastor Carlos who showed up early with roses for us. He also brought his friend with a guitar so we could sing some more worship songs before we left. . Yes. This trip was amazing. . We definitely received more than what we gave. . Just like the wise men. .