We have been fortunate to visit many Honduran children this week. Seeing their smiles, hearing their laughter, and being embraced by their hugs was a gift beyond measure. Our goal was to bless them with love and attention but instead I feel overwhelmed by the love I received.
There was always that one kiddo who set their sights on you and instantly decided they wanted your attention. Each project we visited, there was at least one of these unexpected special moments where a little hand would slide into yours, little arms would wrap around you, or your gaze was captured by smiling eyes fixed on you. Simple, yet beautiful moments that overcome cultural and language barriers, reminding us that we are all God’s children.
At one project, I found myself sitting in a classroom between two girls as they showed me their drawings. We didn’t have a translator so I made use of my Duolingo 5% Spanish fluency to fumble through conversation. The words didn’t matter as much as my interest in them.
I showed them pictures of my two daughters, telling their names and ages. In the photo of my youngest, we were trying to feed her scrambled eggs and she was turned away. In my limited Spanish I said, “No huevos”, which means “no eggs”, and made a disgusted face. And that was all it took to make two new buddies. We laughed as the girls repeated my words and mimicked the face. Several times throughout that day the girls would run by me giggling “no huevos” and we would make the face at each other. Again, simple yet beautiful moments reminding us we are dearly loved.
The following day was child visit day at the beach. Those of our group who sponsored Honduran children would get to meet them and spend the day together and those who didn’t sponsor a child would spend the day with an unsponsored child who the project staff determined could use a day of fun. We got off the bus to see a group of 30-40 people–which included children, their parents, project staff and translators–waiting for us. I scanned the crowd, waving hello, when my eyes locked in on a familiar face.
I knew those smiling eyes, I had seen them before but I couldn’t remember from where. Those eyes knew me though. The child weaved their way through the crowd not breaking eye contact, her smile widening with each step. My brain tried to recall her from the 300 children I had seen the past few days but it didn’t have time, she ran towards me and launched. We embraced like old friends, her head nestled between my ribs and hip. She looked up at me with tears in her eyes and whispered, “No huevos”, and squeezed even tighter.
My phrase on repeat that day and every day since: “O mi corazon”, in English “Oh my heart”.
*** Originally posted on Compassion Canada’s Honduras Training Trip blog ***