To be perfectly honest, my tears had nothing to do with breakfast. But when caught crying at Pollo Campero this morning, the quality of the French Toast seemed as good an excuse as any.
At the beginning of this journey, I had told the team I didn’t cry as much as I used to when serving the discarded. But those words didn’t hold much weight at all today. I woke with such a sense of longing – for my family back home and for the family God has crafted in my heart here in Guatemala. My mind kept flipping through snapshot after snapshot of precious kids who have become a part of who I am. I pondered what our home would look like with teenagers upstairs, and thought about what it would be like to remove the “short-term” adjective from “international missions.”
And so I wept.
Flowers beginning to bloom on the wall.
It happened again while baking desserts for an anniversary celebration at Cerecaif, the little orphanage tucked away under mist-covered mountains in Xela. My mind flashed to seven months ago, standing in the same cinderblock “bakery” with its garage door and propane-fueled ovens. “Please come back in May – teach our girls to cook, and please bake a lovely cake for us.” Fighting the tears, I stepped out of the bakery, into the diffused sunlight, and walked toward the main orphanage. A long cinderblock wall was being transformed into a field of flowers. Again, time traveled to seven months ago, and the question asked of my best friend, Courtney. “Please come back in May – and make the wall beautiful with art.”
The children share what they want to be when they grow up. Firefighter, teacher, lawyer, doctor, social worker...
At Cerecaif’s anniversary celebration – an event attended by close to 200 people – the tears came again as the story of the orphanage was shared. Though the details of one man’s vision to help the abused and neglected was powerful, an even more powerful thread was woven into its story. God fulfills all His promises. I thought about all the promises made and broken to the discarded – and the countless times I’ve failed when I said I would help or support or return. Or even pray.
Very happy bakers. They'll be able to make and sell the breads and desserts.
As the beautiful fragrance of freshly prepared Guatemalan comfort food filled the air, I thought about a passage I had read from Spurgeon’s “Morning and Evening” – “His favours are always performed with the love of His heart. He does not send to us the cold meat and the broken pieces from the table of His luxury, but He dips our morsel in His own dish, and seasons our provisions with the golden spices of His fragrant affections.” My mind flew back to the bakery, and the time spent with Magda, Alicia, Maritsa, Rosario and Nancy just yesterday – and how they loved the aroma of the freshly baked bread and cinnamon rolls they had learned to make.
Ashley and Kelly - and their new friends.
Tonight, as the wonderful team of folks on this journey with Courtney and me sang and played with the orphans, my eyes filled again with tears of gratitude. Seven months ago, a promise was made. Today, with the help of this team, the promise was kept.