A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to help Erica and Kim paint a mural at the new Casa Hogar Del Norte Children’s Home library addition. They did a fantastic job! Here are a few pictures to show the day by day progress of that week:
If you have ever served with us in Monterrey and visited this children’s home, you’d remember it no doubt. It is the one that looks sort like it’s out of some imaginary world – one where the kids have trampolines, a HUGE auditorium, outdoor kitchen, homework rooms, a bakery, music rooms, a computer lab and now a huge second story library with outdoor patio. And to top it off, the woman who is the director of this home started the orphanage in her RETIREMENT. This home screams from every direction that God is actively blessing those children, He will hear them, come to them, lift them up, make them a home, give them food and clothing, execute true justice for them and all the other promises that God has made in scripture to the orphan child. And to top it off – those scriptures are actually physically written on the walls in case you missed the obvious.
Why a library? Martha, the director of the home, was in the states visiting a church in Texas last year and saw their children’s ministry area complete with a children’s library. You know what they usually look like – bean bags, colorful carpets, fun art on the walls, tons of books, a few computers, etc. She asked the Americans she was with if the kids liked this kind of library. Martha was a bit amazed at the idea that reading could be fun. You see, in Mexico, the average school aged child reads one book a year. In the states – the average is not much better but at least it’s at twelve books a year. The kids here very much so associate reading with punishment.
But Martha, a woman of VISION, got another vision for her children’s home and thus, the library addition began. We sat down with her and asked her on camera why she wanted a library for her children – she said something that I was not in the least expecting. She said, “So the children will know who is God.”
Her reason for everything she does for the children was so that the kids would look around at the orphanage they live in and think, “This place is different. Why is this place so different?” And the answer would involve the reality of how much God passionately loves them and is caring for them. Pretty much NO ONE, no orphanage, no local civic center, nowhere has a children’s library and if they do – it won’t begin to compare to what Martha is building. And the reason is so that the kids might know who God is.
Listening to her testimony of the children on the streets that Martha would see everyday many years ago and how she made a decision to care for them which ultimately led to the children’s home Back2Back serves today, it was all I could do to not just cry. Martha is incredibly humble. I’ve never met anyone like her. But what really gave me the chills that day was that she is BELIEVING on faith that the new directors of that home, whoever they will be, and she needs new leadership because she is really old, WILL BE ABLE TO BETTER CARE FOR THE KIDS THAN SHE CAN. After hearing WHY she was building a library, I was shocked. But hearing that Martha honestly believes that God will provide new leadership to follow in her footsteps that will do far greater things than she has been able to – will forever be imprinted on my mind. If you’ve ever met Martha, maybe you can understand a bit of my surprise at hearing this. I’m not sure I’ve ever met anyone as AWESOME, strong, determined, full of faith, dedicated, gentle, sweet natured, kind, generous and passionate as Martha.
I want to believe the best is yet to come like Martha does. Don’t you?