Tag Archives: orphans

Need.

3 Aug

In just a few hours, the journey begins – again. I leave for Romania, to serve with Red Page Ministries. It seems like only yesterday that I was traveling there for the first time, and falling in love with the country and her people. This time, though, I won’t braving the bitter cold with teenagers who were selected to attend a youth camp nestled in the mountains of Transylvania. There will be no ski areas or cozy hotels.

This journey takes me to the heart of the 31 impoverished rural villages served by Red Page and House of Joy. Together with a team of folks from First Baptist Levelland (a community in West Texas) and a trusted friend from Austin who has traveled with me to Guatemala two times, we’ll deliver humanitarian aid to orphanages and laugh with children and carry groceries down dirt roads to farmhouses filled with families who simply need.

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Whispers.

12 May

Tomorrow night, we’ll be there again. Guatemala. Tonight, my heart is filled with a million whispered prayers. I pray for each member of our precious team – Shea, Amy, Kylie, Kelly, Richard, Ashley, Emily, Tricia, Janice, Teresa, and my fellow Wordpainter, Courtney. I pray for our dear Orphan Outreach companion Gloria and the team of translators she has hand-picked. I pray for Josue, our guardian angel bus driver. I pray for the 272 young women awaiting our arrival at Hogar Solidario, the seven girls ready to learn to decorate cakes and bake bread at Evita’s House, and the 49 sweet children at Cerecaif who remind everyone they meet of the awesome redeeming love of a mighty God. I pray for hope to shine brightly. I pray for miracles, great and small. I pray for joy like rain and power like the gravity-defying flowers that spring forth from the cliffs in Xela. And I pray for communion as rich as the time spent holding the hand of an abuelita at Cabacitas de Algodon.

I pray for beauty to be found in the margins, each and every day. Lord, let me not miss a moment.

~Ronne

Little is Much – Victoria

19 Mar

I love little fighters. You know the ones – the kids that seem to defy the odds every day. The children that keep saying, “I will not let my circumstances define me.” There are so many of them here in Guatemala. I remember years ago meeting a bright-eyed teen named Cecilia. She had literally grown up in government orphanages. But she was a tenacious girl, and she saw a life bigger than her cinder block and razor wire walls. It was that spirit that allowed her to live in a transition home with several other young women. I asked her what she wanted to do with her life, and she was resolute in her answer. “I want to be an attorney. I want to make a change in my country.” Continue reading

Labels (part one).

27 Feb

This is part one of a two-part post.

Double-orphan.

Gary Schneider, founder of Every Orphan’s Hope, used the term at IdeaCamp: Orphan Care in talking about programs to care for kids with HIV/AIDS in Africa. Though I understand the term – it means the child has no mother or father – it lands hard on my heart. I fight back tears.

There are so many labels in this whole “orphan care” space. Continue reading

Reluctant.

19 Jan

I leave for Romania in just over a week, to serve with a wonderful new ministry called Red Page. I’m humbled to be on the Executive Board for an organization so committed to caring for the discarded in that country, and have been inspired by the churches already on board because of of their love for her people. They are amazing.

And I feel so ill-equipped. I don’t know the language, don’t know anyone I’m traveling with, don’t even really know what my day-to-day is going to look like there. It’s a youth camp, and I’m 51. It’s a sports camp, and I’ve got the coordination of a slug. And it’s all about Jesus – and now for some reason I’m even concerned I’m going to suddenly forget everything I know about Him. Continue reading

Senses.

18 Nov

I love how God has woven our senses together so beautifully – and how a photo or a fragrance can say things no vocabulary can begin to touch.  Today, I am in a “no words can adequately describe” place – and I couldn’t be more thankful. Because today my heart is so very full of tender moments triggered by sight, sound, smell, touch. Continue reading

Family.

7 Nov

Our journey to Guatemala was made complete by the team of beautiful people who joined us. Jean Clark is a pediatric nurse in Florida, and this is our second time to serve together in Guatemala. We’re thankful to share her words today as our guest blogger.

Jean with one of the sweet orphans at Cerecaif outside Xela, Guatemala.

Life is fragile.

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Cerecaif.

2 Nov

On the outskirts of Quetzeltenango (also known as Xela), a small private orphanage is tucked away in the shadow of flower-covered cliffs.  If you didn’t know where it was, you’d be hard-pressed to find it behind the cinderblock retaining wall that looks like every other cinderblock retaining wall on the busy winding road. But just behind the metal gates lies a place of respite and healing for children removed from abusive situations. Continue reading

Margins.

1 Nov

I’m in grad school. Yes, I am the OLDEST student in my class this semester at St Edward’s University, a wonderful private institution that sits on the crest of a hill overlooking the stunning state capitol of Texas and the much-larger University of Texas. Returning to school to pursue a graduate degree has been a passion for years (or perhaps two decades, if one wants to be precise), and finding a program in Global Issues was an answer to prayer. Even if I don’t ever receive the pretty piece of paper at the end of the road, I know the steps I’ve walked have been focused and good. Continue reading

iPhone.

30 Oct

It’s 5:30 in the morning. The seemingly ever-present Guatemalan traffic is napping now, which was a blessing as we took our team to the airport to catch their flights home.  Courtney and I now sit in silence, caught in that strange place between longing-to-stay and longing-to-be-home.

This country feels so familiar – if I was a brave girl, I believe I could even drive from one place to another and not get lost (bravery being the key word, since driving here requires a lot of skill and an ability to shape-shift to accommodate the traffic and crazy switchbacks, mudslides, ravines, and occasional body of water that may or may not be between you and your destination).  Yet every visit is full of brand-new. Every day is full of broken, poured out, and filled up. Every room is full of stories.

The language of the stories varies. Sometimes it’s a language of words and phrases. Sometimes it’s a language of song. It could be a language of touch, or tears, or laughter. But I have found one universal language that translates instantly to “let’s be friends.”

The language of iPhone. Continue reading