Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The hugs, the greetings and the genuine smiles filled my heart to the brim...

Below is a testimonial from former international volunteer Elizabeth Lanham who led a trip to NPH Guatemala this past summer! Enjoy!
The most important thing for me when I left Guatemala, after working for a year in the medical clinic, was to stay connected.  So when NPH USA approached me about leading a trip with a group of high-schoolers out of Boston this past July, I immediately said yes.  I knew I wanted to share the beauty and preciousness of the children at NPH with as many people as I could, but little did I know what a beautiful experience I was in for by bringing these two groups together!
The teenagers came equipped with activities and age-appropriate games to play with the children of NPH.  Several of them had studied Spanish and they were all eager to jump right in and get to know the kids.  We were handed a schedule our first day which had us sharing meals, playing games with the kids, and participating in their daily routine.  We were also given tasks such as weeding out the garden and working in the kitchen.  One day we even made a trip to an outlying school in a pueblo to bring food, school supplies and piƱatas: extending the generosity of NPH beyond its own borders to neighboring communities.
What makes a difference for those who come to visit NPH is a willingness to engage in all that the children do and experience.  For instance, whether you like the food or not, you eat it.  Whether you want to go to church or not, you go and participate.  Whether you want to do your chores or not, you give your best effort.  And whether you are shy or not, you still smile, approach each other and accept each other for who you are with appreciation.
Having worked at the foundation, for me the entire trip was like coming home.  The hugs, the greetings and the genuine smiles filled my heart to the brim.  I love those kids and I love even more seeing others fall in love with them too.