Thursday, March 21, 2013
Kelsey Reiman, a junior on the Lipscomb women's soccer team, provides details of the sixth day in El Salvador. The women's soccer team is spending its spring break on a mission trip. The sixth day entailed a visit to an orphanage with mentally and physically handicapped brothers and sisters in Christ.
We knew that our hearts were about to be broken and then broken ten times over again. Overwhelmed by a strange combination of excitement, anxiety, and discomfort, team members stepped into the courtyard of the orphanage unsure what to expect or how to act.
Reserved for God´s abandoned children, the orphange is home to about 120 mentally and/or physically handicapped brothers and sisters in Christ. Often times, children are abandoned in hospitals after birth and sent to the orphange to be cared for until someone claims them or until the day God blesses them with a place in Heaven.
Fernando began the tour in the chapel, declaring the ground holy and the most important part of the orphanage purposefully built to surround and connect to all other rooms. Observing, studying, and creating a memory of our new surroundings we noticed and were directed to quotes on walls spread and placed intentionally throughout the orphange. Segements from Matthew 25 painted and defined the encolsure.
“For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you took care of me; I was in prison and you visited me.” - Matthew 25: 35
Walking into a room of mentally and physically handicapped children, our nerves and anxiety left with the sweeping of the door, but the touch of their hands brought us sadness instead. Many could not see or hear or talk, but all felt the warmth of our touch, the heavy beating of our hearts, and the steady drops of our tears. Although we can see and hear and talk, the warmth of their touch and the beating of their hearts spoke to us more than words could ever describe.
Even now, writing and describing the experiences we encountered, seems an impossible task designed for failure. There are no words powerful enough to describe God´s presence in El Salvador, His presence in the orphange, and His presence in our lives.