"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this; to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
~James 1:27

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Bolivian Easter

One of the awesome things about our time in Bolivia was being able to spend Easter there! When I signed up for the trip, I didn’t even realize that we would be there for Easter. It was such a neat experience to celebrate Jesus’ death and resurrection with the Bolivian people knowing that we worship the same God! Knowing that Jesus died for each and every one of us. We celebrated Easter at a church in Santa Cruz that is connected to center 384. The church was packed when we got there and there were many people standing outside looking through the windows so they could be part of the service as well. Many of the children who go to the center showed up to welcome us to their church and center. The church service was filled with joyful singing, a sermon on the significance of Jesus’ death and resurrection, and a couple poems and songs done by the children. It was a morning enjoyed by all!

After the service we stayed at the church to celebrate National Children’s Day with the kiddos from the center. It was such a fun time just hanging out with the kids, families, and church members. We sang songs, danced, and played games together. There was a little program with a couple clowns which was quite hilarious even though I didn’t understand a word of what they were saying, and the center teachers dressed up in the native attire from each of the 9 states of Bolivia. That was really interesting to see! Our group had stuffed some plastic eggs with candy and we planned on having an Easter egg hunt for the children, but there were around 200 children there and we didn’t have nearly enough eggs for all of them! Instead we passed out 1 egg for all the children under the age of 10. I wish we had had more eggs so they could have experienced a true Easter egg hunt, but I think they enjoyed it anyway!

I couldn’t write about our day with the kids of BO384 without introducing you to 8 year old Bania. Isn’t she beautiful?! See that smile on her face. Well that is the smile she gave me when I asked her if she had a sponsor and she said yes! Her face just lit up to tell me about her sponsor and she whispered his name in my ear- Jake. I admit that for a passing moment, I was hoping that she would say no so that I could sponsor her, but I know it is for the best. I wish that Jake could see how much sweet Bania loves him! It is amazing how our children love us without even knowing us. They love us exactly how we love them- instantly and unconditionally. Bania and her friend were so sweet. I didn’t have a chair during part of the program so I was kneeling on the ground beside them. I saw them whispering to each other and then they jumped out of the chair they were sharing and made me sit in it. Not wanting them to sit on the ground either I ended up with 2 cuties in my lap. Bania was just an encouragement to me to keep loving my beautiful kids because they truly love us back!