This past Sunday I was with the deacons quorum in their Sunday meeting. The deacons quorum is the priesthood group of our ward (congregation) of young men ages 12-13. We were discussing serving others and I related a story that I had read on my Facebook feed from an orphanage in Mexico.
Two years ago, my daughter Maggie and I went on a humanitarian trip of sorts with a charity called A Child’s Hope Foundation. We traveled down to the Buena Vida Orphanage, in Baja, Mexico to work on the orphanage that they were building. We quickly grew to love these children whose ages were from toddlers to teenagers preparing to go to college.
A week or two before going down to Mexico, we were assigned a couple of children whom we could get to know a little better, and read a little about them before going down. We found out about some of the things that they liked, and we decided to bring them some art supplies, a volley ball and a few other things.
During the daytime we would work hard at the orphanage. In the evening we would spend time with the children. We played soccer, volley ball and had an evening at the beach.
On the last night we had a nice dinner together at the orphanage. They played music, danced, and had a piñata. We really enjoyed our time there working and serving even though we speak very little Spanish.
I follow their Facebook page, and this is the story I shared with our deacons on Sunday:
One of the orphanages we work with in Tijuana heard about what a difficult situation the migrants from Honduras were in, so they gathered some supplies and took a busload of their children to distribute to those in need at the refugee camp close to them in town.
When they arrived a group of men surrounded the bus and questioned them on what they were doing there. They explained they had come because they thought they might need some supplies. The men asked where they came from and when they found out that these children had come from an orphanage to share what little they had with them they were visibly moved.
They received the items with much emotion and gratitude. One child stood on the steps of the bus and had removed his shoes. A refugee approached and asked if they were available too. The little boy said yes, then asked if he could used his socks too. The man said ‘anything would be useful’, so the boy took off his socks and gave them to him. The little boy then asked if he could use his pants and gave the man his pants. The other children quickly took off their shoes, coats and some of them their pants and gave them to the refugees in tears, seeing their plight. One little girl gave away her brand new shoes that she had received that same week. These children gave up what they could.
This story reminds me of the Widow’s Mite. “And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.” Mark 12:41-44
What an example of charity and of selfless service by these orphans who have so little themselves. I was touched by this story. Be generous in your tithes and offerings. Be kind to others. We are all God’s children. Love one another.
(FYI – I did get permission to quote their story in my blog and to use these photographs which we took while in Mexico.)