During that trip I learned many valuable lessons. When I reach out to others, my joy becomes full. When I was in Lircay I saw for the first time what it meant when people had nothing. Kids would walk around with a soda bottle and play with it like it was the most fascinating thing in the world. Little girls would come up to me and pull on my hair calling me Barbie because I was probably the first person they had ever seen with blond hair. Never before had I felt so wanted and loved. I wanted to do something to help, but it was very hard breaking the language barrier.
I wanted to figure out something tangible that I could do. I wanted to express to these kids the love I had for them and the longing I had to be of some use. Every day 50 or so kids would come to meet at the concrete court. Leaders and I would play games, build crafts, sing, and talk about God.
One boy distinctly stands out in my mind. He always got into trouble. He took my camera and would run around without stopping. He would never listen to instructions, and seemed to be in his own little world. He caught my eye and I looked for him every day. One day when he came to play he had a tear in his eye. I could tell that he was hurting and had nothing. I had the opportunity the day before we left to give him clothes and shoes. He was so thankful. The little boy that wouldn’t do anything you said was now giving me a hug and telling me “thank you”.
I wonder if that little boy even remembers me. I wonder what he is doing right now. I know that I will always remember him and the impact he made on my life.
I gained so much by giving to others. I learned that the gift of kindness can be received by anybody regardless of the language barrier. I also learned that it is so encouraging to others just to notice them and take an interest in their lives, or to spend a day together. My life is so rich because of the many people I have had the privilege of getting to know.