This week’s ROOM contributor is Kacey Bolin. Kacey is coming up on her third Christmas spent in Honduras serving alongside of ROOM missionaries and working to strengthen our programs with her diligence, compassion, and kind heart. We are so thankful for her missionary service and her desire to love each child we serve individually!
Every week Jesús (Kacey’s foster son) and I visit a local orphanage called Hogar Emnanuel (Immanuel Children’s Home) in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. For more than a year-and-a-half we have come to visit children living in this home. I have built relationship with the staff members, caretakers, and many of the children. During our visits we tend to focus our time on interacting with the youngest children. The babies, toddlers and early elementary-school-aged children are the ones we see most and know best. We play games together, read stories, run around outside, and enjoy many other activities together.
Recently, I have discovered how much they enjoy completing activities I bring for us. Last week we did a handprint Christmas craft together. You can imagine how messy this became: hands covered in paint, water everywhere, 15 giggly children anxiously anticipating their turn. It was a time full of laughter and joy. They were so proud of their creation!
The other day, as I was rushing out the door to run errands and go by Hogar Emmanuel, I decided to grab some of our coloring books and our bag of crayons to share with the kids. I knew the little ones would enjoy this simple activity, even if it wasn’t as exciting and messy as paint.
I love when simple things make a greater impact than I anticipate.
Coloring pictures at Hogar Emanuel turned into group activity with the young and older children. The preteen and teenage boys gathered around and found their place among the young ones. They helped the younger ones find the colors they wanted, and helped me talk to the kids about sharing while setting excellent examples of working together and even colored pictures themselves.
Those coloring books and crayons engaged over 30 kids. When all the pages were colored and the crayons were worn down to almost nothing we prepared to leave. They excitedly finished their pictures, showed them to me, and many of them gave me their pictures as a gift. It warmed my heart to receive the work they all colored with such care.
I took more than 45 beautifully-colored pictures home. The most disappointing thing about receiving these amazing gifts is how little room I have on my fridge for them. They were each done with such care and precision. They each deserve to be on display.
This week I want to use my opportunity writing this entry to put those works on display. I am proud to be the recipient of these precious works of art. I am proud to know each of these children.
I am thankful for the way they have allowed Jesús and I to be a part of their lives.
I am thankful for the way they love us.
More than anything I am so thankful for special opportunity I have to know, love and believe in each of them. This is my proud, bragging moment: These smiles were hard earned. Trust and willingness to interact does not come easily for children struggling with abandonment. Their choice to interact with us at all is a testimony to the work of the Holy Spirit. It is beautiful to see the simple and gentle ways God works to build relationships and create encounters with His love. I am seeing the children at Hogar Emanuel encounter this love. These smiles and colored pictures are a reminder to me of all God is doing. Thank you for allowing me to share them with you.
If you are interested in displaying one of these beautiful works of art on your refrigerator, please send your mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to send one your way. We couldn’t agree with Kacey more; each one of these drawing deserves to be on display! And by hanging their work of art on your fridge, your thoughts and prayers will be brought to these children each day.