Many months before her birthday the excited questions begin
“Jenn, cuando cumplo años yo?” She asks with a grin,
Anticipating the day when the celebration will be all about her
To balloons, party guests and presents her mind begins to wander Continue reading
Jesus is the most creative. And I think that is one of my favorite things about Him and about being his friend. The fact that he is creative means that he makes new, beautiful things even where there is darkness. Also, he is full of surprises and unique ways to work and put things together like we would never expect. So I think it’s really fun to listen to Him because He just gives me crazy ideas a lot and it is cool to see where they end up.
Some days (like today), I get this crazy idea that I wish I, Jenn Holden, could save you. It’s because I love you so much, and I see you. I hear you. And when I see your face and listen to your heart, I see someone worth saving.
Last week, David and I as the Back2Back del Norte team, got the privilege to do something that I have long desired—share coffee and listen to the stories and wisdom of an incredible woman that God has brought into our lives. Her name is Martha Rojas, more commonly known as “Hermana Martha”. She is the one of bold faith who decided to open a children’s home after she retired from a complete career as a nurse. I have heard her story many times, as it has made itself famous in the realm of Back2Back, but this time we asked about it differently.
There are so many big lessons that I wish I could teach these precious ones on a daily basis—virtues, truth about the world, about God and who they are. There are many days that I wish I could divide myself into 42 pieces and give each and every one of them the individual attention they deserve, the hugs, encouraging words, fun outings and even loving discipline. I wish I had all the time in the world to play chess with Aldahir, take Adrian to the history museum, take Brenda on a walk just to catch-up, sit and share meals with Oscar, sing a song with Edgar and play cops and robbers with Carlos and Isamar. Yet, as I wait for “all the time in the world” and a supernatural ability to be 42 places at once, I soak in each moment that I have and thank God for little things that can teach great lessons- little things like antibacterial gel.
It is now October. Summer flew fast, sweeping us into fall- a season of slightly chilly air, pumpkin-scented candles, sweatshirts, photos of colorful leaves and hopefully, intentional writing and reflection. It is so simple to become caught up in the everyday (a common theme in this online journal), but on days like today I remember that our “everydays” are the best of moments.
Sometimes I describe these daily occurrences as miraculous. And it’s true. I could go on and on about the everyday miracles that I live here- Tadeo using his beautiful words to ask for things time and time again, sweet Vicky’s voice being used and heard, laughter breaking on the lips of a once hardened face. . . And then there are moments like last night that feel maybe even too profound and beautiful to merely describe as miraculous. Crazy, right?!
There are 34 children who live at the children’s home.
An inquisitive visitor asks, “Of all these kids, how many little boys have a father figure?”
The caregivers stop to count on their fingers, and they only fill one hand before they are out of names – five little boys. As I reflect on this fatherless generation, my mind races through a series of snapshots and prayers, stories of children I have served and loved over the years: Continue reading
A few months ago, Jesus put a project in my heart for the kids that I have been falling in love with, and now it has finally begun. It started with a dream and continued with a massive purchase of blank sketchbooks on Amazon. While at home for Easter, I carefully labeled each book with the name of one of my kiddos.
The other day as I picked up the kids from school, he wanted to hold my hand. Usually on those walks back to the Casa Hogar, I keep my focus on the littlest ones or the most ornery ones for necessity’s sake. But today, 9 year old Beto was asking for my hand and my attention and the rest of the gang was surprisingly not out of control, so I let myself hang back and walk with him. Continue reading