When I first went on a missions trip to downtown Calgary in 1999, one of the lessons I learned was that people on the street have a name. This is important because when people have a name, they have a history and a value because they are a unique and valued individual made in the image of God. That person in 1999 was Pedro.
Today with C-Quest, I met Ernesto. Ernesto is a six year-old orphan I met in an orphanage in Merida. Almost as soon as I walked in, Ernesto and I connected. We spent the morning hanging out together, making a craft about Noah and the ark, dancing to a couple of songs, playing pato, pato, ganso (duck, duck, goose), eating lunch together and being a bit disruptive when Joanne was trying to talk to everyone. Of course, those who know me would know it MUST have been Ernesto's fault. Later on, he started to teach me the Spanish words for the foods we had on our plates. He was pretty stoked when we did the piñata because it was Captain America, just like his shoes. By the end, we were even able to have a high 5, fist bump, blow up greeting and good-bye for each other.
The orphanage keeps kids till they are 18 and I began to imagine and wonder what the future may hold for this little boy that God loves so dearly. I am thankful for the Emmanuel orphanage and the tireless and selfless role they play with parentless kids. I am there for a few hours and then return to my nice home while they remain dedicated day after day. All I could hope to do is bring some joy into Ernesto's life today and thank God for the loving parents I have.