Oh how abundant is this life.
Here in Waco, among roommates who make me laugh, a ministry that opens doors to serve and brings joy to my heart, and a church and life group where the community is rich—like none I’ve ever experienced before—life is abundant.
And in Mexico. Funny…. the border isn’t actually that far away. About 5 hours. And just across in Piedras Negras, there is an orphanage—Casa Bethesda—for kids with special needs. Maybe it’s good that I am just now coming upon this and the fully equipped yet therapist-less clinic they have.
Saturday five of us including my brother and I set out toward Mexico in my little Honda. One day without school left us with three days in Mexico, my butchered Spanish, quite a few tacos, lots of hugs and boogers, and me with quite a bit to process (as always). I kind of thought that having spent three months with 35 kids with special needs and then another week and a half with them would have “prepared” me—or somehow made me “okay” with everything. But as I prayed that God would open my eyes and heart… well… He did. And I’m glad that He did. But I longed to be multiplied. To be able to sit with those bedridden and unable to walk or hardly move. To play with the girl who spends most of the day sitting so she doesn’t mess anything up. No concept of toys–but oh how she loves them. And the joy. To talk to those who spend days on the bed because they can’t quite walk or they are too hard to control. Though little response, to hear a voice is like a sweet melody. To do therapy with those who can almost walk or talk. It was glorious. But more than anything to just sit and hug and hold.
However, I didn’t just see the kids or the needs…
I saw a man and woman: a pastor and his wife that love and are devoted not only to their congregation, but to the children at Casa Bethesda. They are devoted to living out the Gospel, to caring for the least of these, day in and day out—as their retirement. The humility and love and compassion and patience that Pastor Paulino exhibits far surpasses anyone I have ever met. He and his wife live with the kids and daily give of themselves in a way words cannot express. As one of the guys pointed out after we left Pastor Paulino’s church on Sunday, most pastors don’t have 24 kids with special needs to go back to after they get done preaching. He’s a pretty exceptional guy. Oh and it wasn’t just me that saw all of this…
Four others. And each night, I listened to the questions and to the discussion about the best parts and how they had seen God work… the joy that the kids have. And oh that joy. The way that kids with special needs worship. Trusting that they can grasp God and Jesus and the sacrifice. The Pastor’s nature and love for the children.
So I came back trying to process… wishing somehow dots would connect. It’s quite possible I have more questions now than answers, but each day, the Lord shows me that He is in control. And He has a plan. And not to worry. Thus, I am wrapped up in the paradox of emotions yet excited for what Waco hold for today and Mexico for tomorrow. (mind you, not literally tomorrow)