Today, our entire team traveled to the community of Oak Ridge. This is a place we’ve worked to establish a relationship with for the past several years. We started our time with the community with a presentation to the children on “Why they are special”. It was a message about how the judgment of others doesn’t matter when you understand that you are truly loved by our creator.
After, we had several craft activities for the children. Our people volunteering the craft stations were mobbed by groups of children wanting to participate. It was a great site to see the excitement on their faces.
After the crafts, we prepared a simple lunch of a hot dog, two cookies, and a cup of Kool-Aid. The children were served first. As word got out, more and more children showed up to get in the food line. We quickly needed to make a decision on how to serve the growing mass of people. We decided to start cutting the hot dogs in-half and giving out a single cookie. There were no complaints from the people receiving the food – only gratitude, smiles and gracias. We started with 250 hot dogs. We kept serving half-dogs and the people kept coming. We were able to feed all the children and then we asked the adults to get in line. They were as excited as the kids to receive this small meal. In the end, we had about 6 half hot dogs that we needed to give out as “seconds” to a few of the children. At about this time, a woman came up to us and started speaking in Spanish. Tony translated her words: “This was the same as the story of Jesus feeding 5000 with five loaves of bread and two fish.” It was indeed a miracle that we witnessed.
“We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. “Bring them here to me,” he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children. Matthew 14:17-21
After serving the meal, we had a quick team lunch, cleaned up the church and prepared for the thrift sale. We had donated items from Minnesota that we priced between 1-5 Lempira (5-25 cents). We started letting people in 10 at a time and letting them each buy up to 3 items. The line to get in the church stretched into the street. People were excited to purchase shoes, clothing, school supplies, toiletries, etc. at prices they could afford. It was awesome to see the priorities people put on their purchases. They bought things for family members – school supplies and shoes being the most popular. In Honduras, children are required to wear uniforms to school and have paper and pencils. If they don’t have these things, they are not allowed to go to school. Mothers clearly wanted their children to have an education. After it was finished, we were left with a few heavy fleece sweat pants and some sweaters. These weren’t too popular in the tropical climate of Honduras. We raised roughly $150 (remember this was in 5-25 cent increments). The money was donated to the church in Oak Ridge for maintain the building.
After the joy of serving, the team returned to Greenfield Children’s Home for a little clean-up, a pizza party and some awesome fun with the children. As always, we were greeted with hugs and lots of affection. We had time to play, wrestle with the boys, and paint finger nails. It was a great way to end the day.