by Breana, Children at Risk DTS student
Rancho Los Amigos is a home that provides a haven to abandoned, neglected, and abused children primarily from Juarez, Mexico. Our team spent a few weeks at the home, playing with the kids, helping with homework, and doing what we could to give the full-time staff some much-needed time off.
One of the things we do on our Children at Risk DTS outreaches is have as many “Spoil the Kids” events as we can. We want each event to be extra meaningful to the kids–to show them they are valuable, special and unique. We've been at Rancho Los Amigos for about a week now, and it was time for a mini “spoil the kids” event with the older girls. We decided to have a girls' afternoon to eclipse all girls' afternoons!
Before our girls' party, my teammates and I prayed for each of the older girls. We wanted to see them the way God sees them, and feel the same way God feels about them. It was awesome to plan a party that would be fun while also having spiritual significance.
We started out with a photo shoot! The girls were all dressed up and they looked beautiful. We took tons of photos: pretending to eat a tree, making human pyramids. Really silly stuff. Of course we also ate lots of unhealthy but delicious food–pizza, coffee, hot chocolate, and ice cream.
Then we played a question game, where we went around in a circle and all answered the same question. One of the questions was “When was a time you really knew God was more than just a word?”
It was a meaningful time together where we were all open and honest. It gave us a great transition to be able to pray for each other in smaller groups.
One of the girls in my small group sat tall and straight, with her hands folded neatly in her lap. A slight smile played on her face. As I shared with her what God had put on my heart for her, her smile slowly faded. Something I had said touched deep within her heart to wounds inflicted when she was a child. She began to cry as I talked to her about belief and hope. This young woman needed to hear that God could heal her heart. She began to learn how God could heal her as she forgave.
As I reflected on the afternoon, and on how much fun it was to be with the girls and encourage them, I realized the joy I was experiencing was like the joy God has for them, too.