As I walked through the gate of Hogar Temporal in Xela, Guatemala, I began to have flashbacks from my very first trip there 2 years ago with DBU. I remembered the sound of laughter, partnered with the sound of crying. I remembered the hundreds of hugs given to me by excited children, and the hundreds of hugs that the lonely child in the corner never received. I remembered the feeling of joy, followed shortly after with the feeling of hopelessness. Overall, my time there was bittersweet.
I quickly snapped back to reality when I saw one of the faces I depended on seeing each time I returned to Xela. Jonathan sat, surprisngly attentive, in a small classroom. Jonathan is one of the special needs kids at Hogar Temporal. A good descriptor of Jonathan; I asked my co-worker who had been to Xela a few months after me if she met him, and she responded with, "Oh, the one who winks and raises his eyebrows at all the girls?" Yep, thats my boy.
We only stayed at the home for a few minutes so that we wouldnt disturb their classes, but I couldnt stop thinking about Jonathan for the rest of the night. I realized that my time here would again be bittersweet. I layed in my bed last night thinking about what will happen to Jonathan, and the rest of the kids at Hogar Temporal. Selfishly, I was so excited to see familiar faces of the kids I had met in years past. But the other part of me knows that ever year I see them is another year they are living in an institution without a family. The thought went through my mind that 6 year old Jonathan would probably be there into his teenage years. It didnt hit me how terrible this thought was until I said it out loud to a dear friend on the phone this evening.
Shortly after we hung up, I replayed a song in my head that we sang with the kids this afternoon. The song described God with words like, big, strong, powerful, mighty and majestic. This song that was so fun for the kids because of the motions, but once I actually listened to the words, it made me remember something that I so ignorantly doubt. Gods greatness. How dare I think that He cant work beyond the doors of the orphanage, after seeing His goodness and faithfulness over and over again?
I know that God has the plans mapped out for Jonathan and the rest of the children at Hogar Temporal. And no matter how many times I am told in scripture, or see first hand the greatness of God, I still doubt and ask Him for reminders of His goodness...thankfully there are childrens songs with silly hand motions to do just that.