they did not always act this way. Our host missionary Carlos Mestayer
told us afterward that when the first short-term team arrived, the
children did not know how to act. Francisco, for example, would
pick up anything around him to hit these people whom he did not
know if he could trust.
saw members from each trip love these children with the love that
Jesus has for us. At a church service with the local community,
a member from the second trip told these children that their lives
were not a mistake. Each small act of love from each member of the
three trips gave proof to that statement. Throughout each trip,
the hardened hearts of those children softened some more.
with a different mental picture of Francisco. On our last morning
at Arms of Love, I was holding him in my arms with his head resting
on my shoulder as we swayed to my humming of Jesus Loves Me.
I heard his little voice choked up for a second before the song
ended and he bid me his adios with his bright smile. At the moment,
I knew that I had touched his heart as he had touched mine during
team member Jeni reminded us during team devotional time one morning
of the story about a young boy who saves starfish. You may recall
the boy walking along a beach after a stormpicking up and
throwing stranded starfish back into the ocean.
walks up to the boy and asks him, Boy, why are you wasting
your time saving these starfish? What difference can you make when
there must be thousands of them washed up on this beach? The
boy answers with a smile, It matters to this one, and
throws into the ocean the starfish in his hand. He continues on
to pick up another starfish.
effort matters to Francisco. It matters to his sisters Marling and
Pilar. It matters to his brother Marcos. And it matters to Jesus,
who loves these children as much as he loves each one of us.