Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Visiting the NPH Honduras home was life-changing and utterly rewarding...

Below is a blog post written by Lindsey Duff. Lindsey has been a Sponsor since 2011 and recently visited the NPH Honduras home! 

In my room, there are pictures of NPH kids—adorable, smiling, laughing kids. Most important to me is the one of myself with the girl my family sponsors. Her picture is there to keep her in my heart and mind, but it would not be easy to forget my NPH experience.

My family got involved with NPH after hearing about it from a friend and being thoroughly impressed. Soon after, we became godparents to a then 14-year old girl in the NPH Honduras home. Being close to her age, I was ecstatic to begin writing letters—fascinated to hear about her life and eager to share about mine.

I can still remember getting her first letter and crying as I read it. It was so full of love and gratitude, and there was something so incredible about reading her own hand-written Spanish. We continued corresponding for several years, sending letters and pictures and gradually learning more and more about her life. “Espero que algún día puedan visitarme en Honduras,” she’d write—I hope that someday you can visit me in Honduras—and finally we did.

It would be impossible to adequately describe our experience there. We went as a family of sponsors speaking little Spanish and knowing even less about the culture or lifestyle of the NPH homes, and yet the kids and workers there welcomed us into their family with no hesitation, and our visit was the most life-changing experience I’ve ever had.

By itself, the experience of meeting our goddaughter would have made the trip worthwhile. We bonded immediately with her—she was so sweet and funny and kind and above all, loving. She would never walk anywhere without an arm over our shoulders or a hand in one of ours, and I’ve never been hugged so much in my life as I was in that week at the NPH home, by our goddaughter but also by kids I’d only just befriended. That was the miracle of NPH: I’ve never once met a friendlier, more loving group of kids. This, I thought, is what makes NPH so incredible.

The kids we met there had once been some of the most disadvantaged and impoverished children in a country that was already struggling with crime and economic difficulties. But that’s not who they were anymore. They were a family of happy kids, kids who had three meals a day and a bed of their own and access to health care and an education. But that wasn’t the extent of what NPH provided. What made NPH so incredible were the values of the organization that were so clearly in action every day. It was no question why the kids were so loving when they had such fabulous examples in their caretakers and teachers and in the volunteers that worked there. I would never have believed without seeing with my own eyes that such an environment of unconditional love and respect was possible.

The kids went to school, learned a trade in the workshops, ate meals, went to mass, did chores, had time to play, and the home ran so smoothly that we were amazed by the lack of organizing or reprimanding. The fact that hundreds of kids could live in the same place with so little confusion and conflict was testament to NPH’s layout. We were impressed too by the kids’ participation in making the home run smoothly. We saw young boys in an electrician class parading into one of the buildings, presumably to fix something; the older girls worked in the afternoon in one of the gardens, and even the youngest pequeños watered plants and swept walkways.
Whether we were helping in the English classes or playing soccer or doing Zumba with the girls or enjoying ourselves at the Buen Pastor festival, my family and I were constantly being amazed by the kids and by their caretakers. Visiting the NPH Honduras home was life-changing and utterly rewarding.

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