Cailyn and I decided after weeks of being asked by our pastor's wife to go to Huacsapata with her, a mission about a 45 minute drive away from the church. Right now our church goes there on Saturdays to work with the children, Mondays for adults, and Wednesday for everyone. I didn't realize or prepare for what we were going into. I had heard stories of children receiving their one healthy meal a week, having no running water in the houses, and having community outhouses, but it didn't become reality until we drove way into the mountains and stepped out into the shack-filled, dusty pueblo.
We entered the little stone shack to a room filled with beautiful children covered in dust and dirt. There were about 30 children yesterday, but I was told that there are 50 children signed up to come. They were divided into age groups and I went with the older children into another one-room shack that I could barely stand up in. After a few games and a quick lesson about honesty, we went back to the mission and had lunch together. They all lined up to get their one healthy meal that they get a week. We ate with them to show that we were equally grateful for the food. A few of the girls were wanting help with English, so Cailyn and I helped them for a while and then we were asked by the pastors wife to come back each week and help teach English to the children. There was no way after seeing these beautiful faces and experiencing their reality that we could say we didn't want to be apart of this.
My heart immediately broke for these children who I had just met. I was gripped by the thought that this is their reality, this is all they know. After spending a few hours sharing the Bible with them and giving them a bite to eat, we get to go back down to our comfortable, stable way of living, while they remain in these unimaginable conditions. They are equally loved by their creator, but by looking at their environment, it doesn't appear that way. However, we have the unique opportunity and privilege of feeding them both spiritually and physically and telling them just how loved they really are!