Saturday, July 6, 2013

Guatemala Team has returned home

Thank you all for your continued prayers and support during the past few months and especially this past week. We have all made it back to the U.S. and can't wait to go again! 

Orphan's Heart continues to take trips to the Malnutrition Center, along with many other trips to different countries, throughout the year. Consider joining them! For more details, visit

Guatemala Day 6 - Part 2

WOW!  That seems to be the word of the week.  Everyday more and more amazing things happen that just totally left us saying WOW!  Just a few days ago 55 people showed up from four different states really, mostly strangers and now we are all leaving as friends.  It's amazing what can happen when brothers and sisters in Christ work together to honor Him in all they do.
I'd have to say that today was what I would call bitter sweet.  We've spent only a few days loving the precious babies of Guatemala but in so doing we've fallen totally in love with them.  It's amazing when you open your heart and commit to serving God how quickly He can change you.  Now today, Thursday, in many ways was going to be the same type of day but in other ways would soon be the saddest day of our trip.  We arrived at the center just as we had everyday before and jumped right in to performing the same duties we'd been doing each day.  Bathing babies, changing diapers, potty training, feeding babies, folding clothes, preparing lunch for the babies, building a new roof for the pavilion, cleaning floors, painting walls, the list could go on and on.  But the entire time we are serving in the back of our mind we know that a giant "good-bye" is coming.
We were treated to a nice surprise today.  With it being July 4th in America we were all called outside to a Guatemala fireworks celebration and a local Christian School brought their drum band and played music for us.  Truly heart-warming.  The people of Guatemala are the warmest, most humble and loving people I've ever met.  We were even treated to hot dogs on the grill and baked beans (Guatemala style) in honor of the holiday.
As the end of the day drew near you could feel the emotions begin to change as everyone on the team started making their rounds and getting in their final hugs and kisses.  Each one of the precious children had truly become family.  When the call to board the buses came it was of course a giant cry fest.  Not knowing if we'd have the opportunity to see the wonderful children again or ever get the chance to return to serve the people of Guatemala.
As our night was drawing to a close we gathered together once again to celebrate the day and share what God had shown us as we served Him.  After many heart felts stories were shared Matt, one of our team members on this trip shared some very challenging thoughts that I believe helped us all put things into perspective.

He used a song by Brandon Heath to remind us that just as we've been serving the people in Guatemala willingly and with a loving heart we have the same opportunity everyday right in our own back yard.  We may have need this mission trip for God to truly change us but now that He has we've been given a second chance to go out and change those around us.  

"Give me your eyes for just one second.  Give me your eyes so I can see.  Everything that I keep missing.  Give me your love for humanity.  Give me your arms for the broken hearted
Ones that are far beyond my reach.  Give me your heart for the ones forgotten.  Give me your eyes so I can see"  "Give Me Your Eyes" by Brandon Heath.
I believe it's safe to speak for everyone on this trip and say that God truly changed our lives.  We were each humbled and grateful to have been given the chance to serve the children of Guatemala.  I pray that reading our blogs from this trip that God has spoken to you and that if He is calling to step out, get a little dirty and come and serve Him that you will listen and be obedient to His call on your life.  If you will be forever changed!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Guatemala Day 6 - Last Day at the Center

Today was our last day to love on our Guatemalan babies. At the malnutrition center, everything went smoothly as we played games, sang songs, and ate hotdogs to celebrate the 4th of July. A group of us went to a nursing home and did crafts and music with people there. We shed tears of sadness and tears of joy, but we made it and can’t wait to get home and see our families! Again, thank you for you prayers and love, we couldn’t have done this without you!

The teams begin to leave on Friday morning to make their way back to Florida, Pennsylvania, New York, and Louisiana. Please pray for safety throughout the day. 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July (Guatemala Day 5 - Part 2)

(Recap from yesterday, July 3rd)
Rose began our day with a devotion reminding us to stay close to the Shepherd who leads us because He knows what's ahead and will protect us. Wise words when the enemy is stealthy and quiet, sometimes not even seen. The harm happens when we stray.

Wednesday, Day 3 at the center. By now we've become more familiar with the routine and know where things are, so we all went right to work and things ran smoothly. Windex was flying in the Canary room as every square inch of the glass partitions between the individual cubicals  were wiped down. Also, the outside windows in the Canarios Room were decked out with new curtains.

Shaving cream was the hit of the day!  (with the kids AND the interns and translators I understand! :-) It's the simple craft ideas that seem to be the favorites. Squirt a little shaving cream on the table in front of a child and just let them play. Simple pleasures and just good clean fun! (Get it?)

We finally finished with the inventory today of all the supplies these teams brought. Diapers, clothes, formula, medical supplies, toys, shoes, lotions, craft supplies and 9,020 band-aids later, we'll be able to stock shelves at the center, as well as share supplies with the elderly day care and a local hospital.

Today also held extra blessings for a small group of us who went back to the elderly day care we visited yesterday. We took play dough and beach balls, a devotion and Spanish CDs and had a blast! We were treated to a dance performance by the residents and we all joined in. Such beautiful, sweet and gracious people. They truly blessed us beyond what we could have possibly given them. Another team will visit again tomorrow with more fun activities planned. Can't wait to hear all about their visit.

Dinner tonight was a special time at La Peña del Sol. From the frozen lemon-coconut drink to the live Andean pan flute music, the buffet of great food and all the amazing scarves and jewelry purchased from Felipé, we enjoyed our special evening out. (Well, all except for the swim back to the buses! Have we mentioned yet that its rainy season?)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Guatemala Day 5 (Part 1)

Here is a little about what we do everyday. In the morning we start the day with breakfast and devotion time at the hotel then we drive an hour on the bus to get to the center where 99 little babies and toddlers live. New babies arrive every day and are sent there to live because they are severely malnourished. Their shortest stay is 8 months some have been there 3 years.

We arrive and help the nannies bathe and clothe the children then we play with them and do activities with them. We help feed them and change them and feed them some more etc. in the afternoon we work on much needed work around the center. the guys have been helping the centers 2 maintenance men build a chicken coop and pavilion for the families to spend time with their children when they come to visit. We leave the center at 4:30 every day and drive back to the hotel and get ready for dinner and then devotion time. After that is hang out time and bed!
Today there was a group that got to visit an adult day-care facility. A few of the team members went and hung out with them and even got to do some dancing! 

Boys will be boys!

Guatemala Day 4 (Part 2)

This was a great second day of serving at the malnutrition center! The Ducks and Squirrels were ready to play, the Chicks and Bunnies had fun with their toys, and the Canaries were happy to see us! Everything went smoothly and during "Project" time we were able to paint much of the center and organize donations. We also had a new addition to the Canaries, Carlos! Today was wonderful and we are so blessed by the love that these children show us! Thank you for your prayers!

Lori, Tiffany, and Howie had the joy of visiting a nursing home in San Juan today. They shared the joy they saw as they visited the 50 residents of the "adult day care" center that is provided by the First Lady of Guatemala.  They were so impressed that we will be sending a team of 8 tomorrow to minister to these beautiful residents.

Thoughts from Cynthia Cottrill:

Guatemala: There's a strange energy here. Plans don't work here. Time slips past in odd ways, like no one looks at watches, like no one cares how long something takes. I've never experienced anything like it. It's really rather beautiful, even when every part of you is screaming "schedule" But here in Guatemala I just can't seem to find a way. I get sucked in. It forced you to confront your ways. The people here are living very happy lives. " the whopping great reflection that bounds back at you is this: perhaps the way I've been doing things isn't right. I asked for this.... My desperate need to know what life can be like with less rigidity, with looser plans, without my happiness depending on what happens next. My knot of anxiety and my panic about not getting things done . Ah in Guatemala I say that's why god invented tomorrow. I'm letting the day pass as it needs to.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Guatemala Day 4 - Part 1 (Baby Carlos)

Today was extra special as the Malnutrition Center received baby Carlos. He is 4 months old and only weighs 6 lbs. Please keep him in your prayers that his health will be restored. More to come from day 4, but for now... meet baby Carlos... 

Guatemala Day 3 (part 2)

A wonderful way to begin the week!

This week we have been blessed with teams from several different states: Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and Louisiana. Yesterday was our free day and we were given the choice to either zip line across a canyon, tour a coffee plantation or visit a chocolate museum. After eating lunch we experienced the market and then returned to the hotel to end the day with dinner and group worship. 

When we arrived at the malnutrition center this morning we broke up into our assigned groups and were given a tour of the facilities by the interns. After the tour we met our kids and began the day's activities. The children are grouped by cute animal names which include: Canaries (bed babies), Bunnies & Chicks (youngest toddlers), Ducks & Squirrels (3-6yrs). We had playtime, snack time, Bible story and lots of songs. At 12:30 it was time for lunch and we got to eat too! After lunch...Naptime. While the children were asleep we did projects around the center: cleaning windows, folding laundry, cleaning toys and mats, and sorting through donations. Also, Tiffany lead the devotional with the sweet nannies that care for the children. The afternoon ended with lots of games and giggles. Before we knew it, our day there had come to an end. We left the center and remembered we needed to take our group picture so we stopped at a breathtaking view of the whole city with the volcano "Agua" in the background. We are now going to end the day with food and fellowship. We can't wait to see those precious children again tomorrow.

Here are some more photos from day 3:

Monday, July 1, 2013

Guatemala Day 3

Today we made the hour long drive to the malnutrition center. After many twists and turns we arrived at the center. We first started with a tour of the center, which was very emotional for many. We were then taken to our areas of work. I was in the "canary" group today and there were 32 babies. We spent the day changing poopie diapers, feeding babies, laying them down for a nap and loving them with everything in us!!! The amazing thing is that when groups are not at the center, 4 women take care of these babies all by themselves. The children each have their own distinct personality and we learned some of those today. At the end of the day we had to feed the babies their final bottles and then say goodbye for the day. We had an amazing time today. (By: Linda Hernandez)