Stories

Sharing a Birthday Wish

Aug 14, 2014

Claire Rogers

 

The first of its kind in the state of Sinaloa, Mexico, Rancho de los Niños Children’s Home was created to care for children with special needs. Once a farm near Mazatlan, Rancho is home to 21 uniquely beautiful children and young adults.

Here, we meet Miguel who has lived at Rancho for nine years. Miguel is passionate about music, which drives his interest in making his own musical instruments. He loves the children deeply, caring for and playing with them everyday. Viewed as a ‘big brother’, he relishes in bringing a smile to their faces and is quick to sacrifice to meet their needs. When the children need individual attention, Miguel holds, comforts and prays over them. He has found an extended family.

Miguel is a helper – he gives to others putting their needs above his own. So accustomed to putting others first, he looks puzzled when Back2Back staff member, Chad Huber, asks, “I love that you love to help, but what can we do for you? What would you like for your birthday?”

Miguel shrugs his shoulders and confides with a grin that he would love a real drum set. Back2Back staff searched the local area for an electric drum set with no success. The staff asked Miguel to be patient. “We will keep trying,” Chad promised. On a brief trip home to the U.S., Chad found just the right set. He carefully boxed the gift and transported it over the border for Miguel’s big day.

After a month of searching, Miguel’s special gift would be revealed. Wrapped in festive, multi-colored paper, the drum set would fulfill one of Miguel’s special wishes. After gathering all the children for the celebration, he tears open the paper and beams. His smile communicates a deep understanding of how truly loved and valued he is.

Anxious to play music, he opens the box, removes the set and places it on the table. Raising the drumsticks in the air prepared to play, Miguel pauses. He turns to the children, holds up the drumsticks and asks, “Who would like to play?”

Miguel is fluent in serving others. However, his developmental needs impact his ability to live independently. The Mexican government does not have a support system in place for adults with disabilities, leaving future planning in the hands of the children’s home. Back2Back is committed to lifelong care for the children at Rancho de los Niños, as the staff prays for and works with Miguel about his future plans. Visiting mission trip team members with specialized backgrounds help educate Back2Back staff on Miguel’s strengths and options for his future. Many ideas surface as we dare to dream. As we abide in God and seek His guidance, we trust He will reveal the next step. In the meantime, Miguel will bloom where he is planted, caring for others, joyfully playing his drums, and patiently waiting for the next step to be revealed.

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