Saturday, February 5, 2011

Her Name is April?



Eleven years ago I received a manila envelope with a cordial letter and a vhs tape. The letter was an invitation from Gil Sanchez, who directs Casa De Le Esperanza, a children’s home in the Northern Mexico state of Chihuahua. Somehow Gil became aware that I had led groups of medical professionals to conduct free clinics in several Mexican cities. That prompted the invitation I received in the mail in 2000. The vhs tape was a promotional video telling the story of the children’s home. When I watched the video, I could not contain my excitement. But at that time I had more commitments medical mission commitments than I could handle…

Fast forward the clock 4 years. In 2004, I was hired by a church in Granbury, Texas. It was terribly painful to leave a place where I had grown to love the people more than I can possibly express. Woodward, OK is officially out in the middle of nowhere, but they are some of the finest people I have ever known. But I was ready to get back to familiar territory, and reestablish friendships that in some cases went all the way back to junior high school.


When I was hired in 2004, church leaders in Granbury told me that they had an ongoing partnership with Casa De Le Esperanza in Mexico. I was asked if might be interested in leading a medical mission trip down there. I was reminded of a letter of invitation that I had received 4 years earlier…


Casa takes in children of all ages who have been abandoned and abused. They do an amazing job of serving these precious children. In the most recent newsletter from Casa, director Gil Sanchez tells this about one of their most recent additions to the family at Casa De La Esperanza.
A week after arriving at Casa we learned from a neighbor that her name is April. April was found abandoned and living in indescribable filth. We do not know the whereabouts of any family, having found her alone and abandoned. April appears very shy and introverted, which I think is more a reflection of her mistreatment and abuse than the actual person we will come to know as she learns to put her trust in us. When April was first brought to us, there was no way of telling just how long she was left alone or when she was last bathed, her cloths or diaper changed. The indescribable filth she was found living in was matched only by the stench of her cloths. When first asked her name, he murmured “Guero” which translates “Blonde” in English. Having so little information about April at this point, we can only estimate that she is about 4 years old.


Yesterday I quoted my friend Dan Bouchelle when he makes the following observation about ministry: It’s not enough to feel called if you want to stay in it. You have to love it… Now you know one reason I love it. I get to rub shoulders with the “April’s” of this world. And for some reason I think that can be equated with being in the presence of greatness…

No comments: