Ali is volunteering as a nurse at the mission and recently shared with us the following:
The other day we had six siblings come. They were living under a patio on a couple mattresses with garbage everywhere. They were found alone because their dad is in jail and their mom had left to try and sell shoes to get them some money. When they arrived they were lice-ridden, scared, and very shy. It’s only been two weeks, and the one-year-old is happy to be held by anyone, the three-year-old knows everyone’s names, the little girls are all smiling and want to play non stop, and the fourteen-year-old (who has received the brunt of the family baggage I believe) routinely flashes me the “I love you” sign in sign language and loves joking around. Anyway, their situation and transformation has been a huge testament to me of the beauty and necessity of this place in a world that is broken for a million reasons.
What we need in order to be our true selves is so simple: food, clothes, security, and love. The orphanage (which is more like a giant foster care) provides all of this and more to kids who desperately need it.
I’m really honored to play my little part here. I’ve done a lot of first aid stuff -the kids have a million tiny scratches that absolutely must have my attention, which is sometimes annoying, but mostly funny because they are so cute! There have been some more complicated medical cases, such as a girl with new onset epilepsia, and another girl with an autoimmune, nervous system disorder that the doctor is still trying to figure out. I’m spending a lot of time helping the special ed kids. Other than that, I’m teaching English classes to the kids and some missionaries, helping with homework, and just playing around. I got to be a Godmother to one of the girls here named Lily, and that meant a lot to both of us.
Throughout my time here, this statement from God in the Old Testament has come into my head multiple times, and brought me to think about what my response to it looks like:
“I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.” -Ez 22:30
There are people standing in the gap here, and the fruit of it is beautiful to see.
P.S. The government does help here, but definitely not enough! A good portion of this organization is run by donations, a lot of which are from the US, which makes me really proud of my country. The money goes to supplies for the kids, random things the mission needs (such as washer and dryers last May…thank GOD for those – I am not a fan of washing clothes by hand and it takes a ton of time considering the amount of kids). Also the money goes to helping the school and giving scholarships. Education is huge for these kids in order to get them out of the cycle of poverty. All the donations go 100% to the mission and are tax deductible. check out the website for more info http://www.missionsantamaria.com/