There is a moment when you forget that you are volunteering to help change lives because it’s changing yours.
A good night’s sleep always helps to start the day off right. Last night, we had sweet dreams as the rain beat down on the tin roof of Alfredo’s House. It’s a good thing because breakfast was at 6 am!
We got an early start this morning because the village of Palmichales Fatima
had not been visited by Friends of Barnabas and we were not sure what to expect. We found a lovely, friendly community that showed us how much they appreciated us.
When we first arrived, we were greeted with smiles, hugs and warm welcomes, especially from the children. The team leaders greeted the community with a welcoming speech and a prayer. As the people formed lines and went from station to station, it was clear to see that these people were very devoted to their families.
There is a Friends of Barnabas tradition that if we meet someone who truly moves us, we can give them our wooden cross necklace. Emily Wright had such an experience today. One of the villagers shared with her that his wife and children had left him. He went on to confide that he didn’t believe that anyone loved or cared for him. Through tears, Emily gave him her cross and reminded him that Jesus loves him. She offered to pray for him. It was one of a million special moments this week that our team will take back to the United States.
Other joys of the day came from the children and their energy as well as their laughter. There was lots of jump rope and picture taking. We had the ability to print pictures of the children or families. One special grandmother loved getting pictures printed of her grandchildren. Her gratitude was overwhelming with her repeated, “Gracias!!”
Back at Casa de Alfredo, we enjoyed an early dinner and Dr. Judy ended the night with great devotion. A few team members shared meaningful stories from their day in the village.
Now we are all getting settled in for another productive day tomorrow. - April Barber