Sophomore infielder Peyton Ward describes the final day for the softball team in Colonet, Mexico, and the impact the children the team served will continue to have on them.
Day 6, a whole new world.
Today was moving in so many ways and I will never forget it.
This morning started off with breakfast and a devotional. What better way to start our everyday than with the Lord and food? After that, we went to the church to put together bags of sugar, cornmeal, tuna, oatmeal, etc., and then we drove around and took them to families. These families are ones who attend the church at Colonet, and who can use this to feed their families.
What we saw when we were there was moving. These people live in one-room houses with maybe one bed. Sometimes these houses can have up to five or six people living there, four kids included. There are usually other animals running around outside too such as pigs, puppies/dogs, and chickens. One house we visited had four families of people living in it. Needless to say, that house got two of our food bags and they were so grateful.
These people who have absolutely nothing still seem to be the happiest, most grateful and loving people I've ever had the pleasure to know. They couldn't stop thanking us and hugging us and loving on us. The kids included, they always say thank you, and they always hug us tight or shake our hand.
This was a humbling experience for all. To really see how these families we have been loving on all week live every day. We have only seen them in the church, or in a group setting, but to see them in their own homes was something so different and so new, a whole new world. To compare it to our own lives back in the United States... it just doesn't seem right that the best people I have come to know have to live like what we saw. It made me really think about how grateful I am, and how happy I am to be on this trip serving these people who deserve it.
As I'm sure you have seen, today was our last day in Baja with the kids and we didn't want it to end. We played more soccer, gave so many hugs and piggy back rides, and made even more friends here. We made dream catchers out of plates, glitter, and glue. It was everywhere, but we loved it and so did they. After we did our craft, we went outside and played more. After more playing, we loaded up five vehicles full of children (and us of course), and headed to the nearest beach about 30 minutes away.
At this beach, we played, and we played, and we played some more until we were soaked head to toe in chilly salt water. These children kept running and swimming and splashing in the water having the time of their lives. The kids never stopped smiling and it was so fun to be a part of that. After we enjoyed the sand for a while, we ate shark tacos prepared by some of the women from the Church in Colonet. Wow. They were SO good!
We had a fire and we all stood around it and enjoying the love of one another. It was a little chilly after we got out of the water with the off-shore breeze, so we had all the children huddled around and close to us to keep us warm, along with them. One little girl I connected with relatively well today, Diyana, was standing in front of me by the fire with her face buried into my sweatshirt. That's when I thought about how one of God's most precious gifts to this earth is children. They are so innocent and so loving and so kind. They never cease to amaze me, even in the simplest moments like this one. If any of you know me well enough, you know I have a soft spot in my heart for kids. Let's just say it grew tremendously this past week.
Today was one I will never forget. We poured into these kids with everything we have, but they poured into us even more. This whole week we have been talking about, as a whole, leaving the day on empty. Today is one of those days where I feel like I'm leaving the day on extra full. These kids have really changed our lives, as I am sure they'll continue to do so to many others around the world. These kids will change the world one day, as if they already haven't, and I'm so excited to watch it happen.
Tonight, I am thankful for the beach and it washing our feet. I am thankful for the stars as they shine so bright over the ocean. I am thankful for snuggles from kids who I met today, and who poured into us. I pray for the never-ending love of Jesus to grab these people and lift them up. I pray for their safety and wellness. That they continue to change many lives. I pray for them. Lord, we love You and we thank You.