Deeply Entrenched

I am finding that I am becoming more deeply entrenched in this place—in the precious lives of the children here. As much as I love those still in the US, I am not sure how to reconcile my emotions toward what my life was there. For I am realizing already that I am changing. I am different. God already is breaking me down, melting me, and molding me more into who He intends for me to be.


Gabriel House 200I don’t think I knew what it was. But there are a bunch of kids who have shown me and are showing me. For God has given me a heart overflowing with it, and time after time I find myself in my apartment with a child on my mind or down below with one on my lap thinking this is what love is. His words have come alive. I am getting it and I am broken for the children—for their needs. But I look at them and that’s not what I see. I don’t see problems, but instead seven incredibly bright children that have been held back by their circumstances. Their abilities amaze me. Their personalities are unique and wonderful. Each was fearfully and wonderfully made with a specific plan in mind. God created each with a purpose.

I yearn for others  to see that—to show the women that there is so much more to Irene and Pilar and Ruben than three kids to bathe, feed, control, and clean up after; that Marcos, and Marisol, and Omar, and Chloe’s capabilities go far beyond what they are doing now. I pray that the groups that come in can look at them through Christ’s eyes and see children that want to love and be loved—not only the calm ones, but the ones with special needs too. Because they need to be loved. They need to be hugged and to be held. But is that not our tendency? To pass by? To pass by the one in the corner that is banging his head or the one biting her hand, or the one on the side that is filthy? What about the one that looks different or isn’t dressed as nice? The one that is different… even in a home full of differences.

Instead let us look for he who is alone. One of the best things I ever learned as a counselor at camp which I still maintain today was to notice the loner and seek him out. This is true at school, at church, in orphanages, among friends, in homes, and in families.  Rarely does anyone really want to be alone. We were created to be in community, to love, and to be loved. So love. Love one another.

Gabriel House 176This week we had a group here that loved the kids and the women beyond all expectations. They helped us out while we were working, did projects around Gabriel House, and put on a Vacation Bible School. But they went above and beyond. They included the older boys. One of the boys who has Cerebral Palsy played guitar with the guys and then played to a song for everyone ending with cheers. The boys also performed one of their songs and for them, they were on top of the world. For the workers, the VBS was such a blessing. We hardly had to do anything as it was one student to one kid and the kids loved it—puppets, music, and crafts and then they just got hugged and held and thrown around. But on top of it, the group paid the women, wrote all of us notes, and got all of us flowers.

But the group isn’t the only display.

The boys with CP have worked making earrings and have been selling them to the women here. However, with a group, it gave them a much greater market leaving them out with it open for donations—and they sold many pairs making more money than had been anticipated! The boys then got to go to Calimax to buy pencils and erasers. However, some of the younger kids go to school and need snacks so they also decided to buy their snacks to help out. The love that is here is deep and not only in the missionaries that come and go, but in the kids. But oh when they got to Calimax—they were so excited! They could hardly contain it! So simple yet it is so rare for them.

Gracias a Dios for providing the much deserved pay for the women that brought tears to eyes and smiles to faces. Pray that God will stir in hearts to provide financially for Gabriel House so that they can pay the women and also pray that that the Holy Spirit would stir in hearts of others to become missionaries at Gabriel House.  Pray for love to continually permeate the hearts of us all. The Missionaries. The Women. The Kids. For one another.

Gabriel House 180Gabriel House 207Gabriel House 177Gabriel House 206

(Sergio and Ruben playing, Omar thanking Teddy for buying his snacks for school, Jose playing guitar for the group, Marisol thanking Jose for buying snacks for school)


2 responses to “Deeply Entrenched

  • Susie

    Dear Hanna,

    I am moved to tears every time I read your blog. What an “old soul” in such a young person. I have learned so much from you and the way you live your life. Your life shines bright with God’s love.
    It is overwhelming and consuming to help a child with special needs. It is something that I feel each day with my wonderfully complicated son. When I am feeling inadequate, I remember that God led me to Cole and he has led you to these children. He has a purpose for you and he will do great things for these children and this place through you. God loves these children and he loves you. I pray that God will continue to guide you as you deal with the children, the women, and the situation.
    You are a young woman who embodies compassion, love, kindness, integrity, discipline, determination and strength. You are a warrior!!

    Love, Susie
    P.S. I am sending some snacks for you and Cole is sending Swedish Fish and Lollipops for the kids!!

  • Jean Cates

    Dear Sweet Hanna.
    I appreciate your blog entries so very much. It’s almost like having you at the kitchen table with me. The time with the group there sounds great for you and for your sweet children. Your father is here to help me reach you with this comment
    Much love from Nana

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