There are moments in life when you get a glimpse of God’s love, HIS heart and HIS hands by watching others. I was privileged to have a whole photo album of these moments when the 2016 RestoBolivia team came to Cochabamba in July. I am a volunteer at Niños con Valor and spent a significant amount of time with this group who clearly wanted to share that God knows you! He’s crazy about you! He goes with you!
The images that fill my mind when I reflect back on the jam-packed week are ones of play, connection and devotion. I can see the smiles and hear the laughter during activities like face painting, playing at the park, drawing on frisbees, swimming at El Poncho and watching the performances at the 10th Anniversary Celebration of Niños con Valor. The too numerous to count hugs and the non-existent personal space bubble are the natural result of sincere caring. I witnessed eyes lighting up when the team would ring the doorbell and the proverbial “ahhh” when it was time to leave for the day. It was a cycle of high-octane VBS mornings at La Trinidad, activity filled afternoons at Corazón del Pastor and Pedacito de Cielo and evenings to prepare for doing it all over again the next day. What struck me most about this RestoBolivia team was how each day was approached by trying to do their best and make the best of out situations that didn’t go as planned. (A common occurrence with children and in Bolivia.)
A common question I hear, is how can a bond be so deep after only a week together? In my opinion, the answer is what all mission trips should leave room for… God! He bridges intentions and actions, Spanish and English, difficult pasts and hopeful futures and everything else. When you come with a heart to serve and willingness to allow God to lead, change and challenge you, you are left with what the RestoBolivia team experienced. The team,community, church and children and staff at Niños con Valor are different because of how God works.
Thank you to the RestoBolivia team for giving of yourself selflessly and for being SO fun!!!
(Ed:Marianne was the MOST wonderful hostess – unfailingly cheerful, helpful and wise. So grateful for her part in making it a really good 10 days!)