Thank you to Cameron Walls for writing today's blog! Cameron is a rising senior at Orangewood Christian School, and this is his first trip to Casa Hogar.
As a newcomer to Casa Hogar, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. I didn’t know what items to bring (I learned at 4:30 a.m. that, apparently, you need a passport to get out of the United States) or how the kids would receive me, and Drew Bott isn’t exactly the most reliable of lifelines. But, I believe this aspect of uncertainty helped enrich the experience as a whole.
When asked to describe this week in one word, “humbling” has to be the most accurate. I didn’t understand how desperately I needed to meet the children of Casa Hogar until I actually did. Looking back, I can’t recall a distinct motive for joining the mission crew other than a certain feeling that I couldn't shake--a feeling that God was telling me it was time to serve.
Jesus calls all of his followers to service, and, on multiple occasions, he brings special attention to certain people groups, such as the orphaned. I knew that it was my turn to remove myself from the center of the universe and really pour into a new community, an opportunity that I am incredibly grateful for.
These wonderful children taught me what it means to be joyful in the Lord. Each and every boy and girl has a permanent smile on their face, whether it’s time to work or time to play. This is what joy is; these kids have had their hearts broken, been thrown aside and looked down upon, yet they are truly grateful for anything and everything they receive. On countless occasions, I would observe the children receive bags of chips from the store and immediately share with the others sitting across the pavilion, no questions asked. No matter what was given to them, the kids would scream something unintelligible in Spanish and hug you dearly. This embrace between two people of nearly opposite backgrounds proved to be one of the most tender and innocent images that I’ve ever experienced, an image that God uses as an illustration of his sacrifice of his Son.
This is exactly what I believe to be the reason I was led to serve at Casa Hogar: to be shown true Joy. Service is an incredible tool that will undoubtedly strengthen one’s relationship with the Lord, and I consider myself truly blessed to have been included so seamlessly with this year’s trip to Acapulco. There will forever be a special place in my heart for the children of Casa Hogar as they have provided me with a deeply humbling and ultimately life-changing experience of what it means to be joyful in the Lord.