Can One Little Boy Make A Difference? – November 30, 2011
I saw firsthand today that one little boy or girl could impact the world. It all started when my friend Mike Ford agreed to go to Colombia with us last June. His heart was touched, as are so many, as they walk through the fields of the fatherless. Mike came home so excited to tell his family about all that he had seen and felt. His family was very touched, especially his 6th grader Michael. The whole family has put their weight behind Orphan Hope and has worked hard to help in any way they could. Read more…
Shanna Rowell – Mission Trip to Bogota, Colombia, January 2011
This past January I had the privilege of traveling to Colombia on a mission trip with Orphan Hope International. Our group of 30 spent seven days in the capitol city of Bogota visiting orphanages.
To give you a bit of background, approximately 32% of Bogota citizens are living in poverty which means they earn less than $2 per day. Currently there are estimated to be over 577,000 orphans throughout Colombia. Interpol estimates there are 35,000 women and girls trafficked out of Colombia every year for the sex trade, with estimated profits of $500 million, making Colombia second only to the Dominican Republic in the West.
Our purpose was not to fix or construct buildings, but to give the gift of presence to hundreds of orphaned children. We visited one boys orphanage and two girls orphanages spending the days playing games, doing crafts, ministering to the children and giving them as much love and attention as possible. We also had the opportunity to visit a safe house where some of the 18-20 year olds who’ve aged out of the system live and work while they learn to become self-sufficient adults. The children were all very grateful for our visit, but it was obvious the members of our team had gained much more from these experiences than we could’ve possibly given to those kids. On the third day of our trip, I personally became very attached to a young boy who took my hand shortly after we arrived at his orphanage. Although he spoke no English and I knew very little Spanish, we had an instant connection. He stayed by my side all day giving me a tour of the building, playing games and proudly showing me his bed, schoolwork and bible. Towards the end of the day he motioned for me wait in the doorway as he ran off to get something. He brought back a tattered Buzz Lightyear toy that was obviously one of his very few possessions. He placed it in my hands and said over and over “gift” in Spanish. I tried to refuse and make him keep it, but quickly realized that was not going to happen. I asked other members of our team how to tell him that I couldn’t take his only toy, but they explained that in Colombia it is tradition to give a gift to someone you care about and this is the only thing he has to give. With a very heavy heart I accepted his offering and spent the rest of the afternoon hiding my tear-filled eyes behind my sunglasses. I carefully packed the Buzz Lightyear in my suitcase to ensure safe transport back home and it now sits on the mantle in our family’s living room as a reminder to be grateful for all our blessings.
This experience was my first mission trip, but I have returned a changed person and guarantee it will not be my last. I look forward to visiting Colombia with Orphan Hope International again one day, and also hope to participate in future mission trips to Africa.