While the Embrace group was serving in Buenos Aires on our mission trip, one of the opportunities that we had was to spend some time in an orphanage ministering to children who ranged in age from a year old to nineteen years old.
Because of donations that had been given, we were able to bring with us a Bible for each child, two stuffed animals per child, and a goody bag that included a tract in Spanish, a small Spanish Christian book and some candy to give to each one of the children. Collectively we were able to give the orphanage socks, hygiene products, and a number of toys and books for the directors to distribute among the children as they deemed appropriate.
Apparently when people bring things to the orphanage there is often not enough for all of the children. From what I understood, when this happens it is a first come, first serve and some children do not receive, while others do. We were able to avoid this by ensuring we had more of everything we brought because we didn’t want any children left out.
In order to ensure that each child received a Bible, their stuffed animals, and a goody bag, the orphanage director had me write the name of each child inside the front flap of each of the Bibles. In the midst of writing the 20 names of the boys and girls, there was no set order for how the Bibles were arranged in my lap for distribution.
We began to distribute the Bibles and other items with the aid of Christine, our translator. Christine would call the name of the child and hand them their new Bible, while some of the ladies on our team gave the child their goody bag and stuffed animal.
Mid-way through the process a little six-year-old girl named Tamara burst into tears and ran to the bedrooms inside the orphanage building. Stunned we all looked at each other not entirely sure what to think.
Christine told us that Tamara thought we didn’t have anything for her. Her older sister, who must have been about eight or nine years old, began to say in Castilian, “She can have mine! I will give her mine!”
However, we did have things for Tamara – her name just had not been called yet.
The director went to find Tamara and brought her back out to us. Immediately I began to dig through the stack of Bibles in my lap to find the one with her name written in purple ink.
Christine gathered her up and explained to her that we did have things for her; her name had just not yet been called.
I have thought a lot about that scene since it happened – a young child so desperately wanting and thinking that, yet again, she had been left out.
All too often, in the midst of cynical world and society where we focus on politics and differences, we forget that there are people – with the same flesh and feelings as you and me – on each continent with a deep and wanting desire to be loved and remembered.
While many times we forget that, our Lord never does. He provides the greatest love and has graven each name in His hands (Isaiah 49:16).
I am thankful that God remembers, knows and has provided for each of us.
To read more about the Embrace International Mission Trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina, and to view more photos, please visit the following links: