During some down time this week, I started writing down many of the things that the different girls I have spent a lot time with here have taught me. There is much, and much for which I am thankful. But I wanted to highlight them & shine a little light on how MUCH they have meant to me throughout the past month. The meaning of sister in Christ has taken on a whole new meaning for me because these girls literally have become my sisters, part of my family that I will always carry with me.
What I have learned from them:
ALBERTINA: Servanthood & Humbleness. Albertina is one of the most beautiful people I have ever met, and its not just because she is outwardly beautiful. She is 18 years old and she radiates love for the Lord. He is her everything. She has humbled herself before Him, and it is evident through her work. She doesn't want recognition from anyone for the things she does. She does all the "dirty" work per se when no one is looking. A lot of the girls look to her and she has no idea, but I see it everyday. She has an extremely calm spirit that sort of sets the tone for everyone that comes around her. This includes me. I know there is a reason she is the first girl I met at Emmanuel. She has remained one of my best friends here throughout. "Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise." (Proverbs 31:30-31) This is Albertina.
KELIN: Grace, Responsibility, and Gentleness. Grace flows from Kelin, especially every time I mess up severely in the kitchen (which I had no idea what was going on most of the time). If I mess up, she just says, "It's okay I do it too sometimes" (which I honestly never saw her do, but made me feel better regardless). She has a gentle spirit, and is encouraging. I remember one day I was saying how I couldn't do something, and she in all honesty puts her hand on my shoulder and says, "Taylor, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you." Wow. She too leads with a calm spirit. "When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instruction with kindness". Prov 31:26
ROSA: JOY & LOTS of it. Haha. I can't even talk about her without having the biggest grin come to my face. Rosa is always laughing, and smiling. When something bad happens, like us dropping all of the lunch for 40 on the floor-she shrugs and grins and says, "It's okay!". She never lets circumstances get the best of her. She has joy that's higher than that, and it is extremely contagious! Everyone needs a bit of Rosa in their life! ..."and she laughs without fear of the future" (Prov. 31:25)
GITA: FAITH. Gita is a pillar, and you can tell by the fruit of her life. She inspires me more than I could ever imagine. She challenges me daily. I remember one day saying to her, "Gita, why don't you just come to America and live with me?" She reponded by saying, "Taylor, if the Lord says yes I come. But if he doesn't I'm not coming." The response kind of suprised me because I was kind of half kidding. But that is how Gita is, she lives by faith every single day of her life and in every circumstance. She is also an astounding leader. Many of the girls look up to her and she has NO idea. Not to mention, she takes care of the special needs girls and this takes a lot of patience and tenderness, which she has much of. She too radiates the Lord. 'She is clothed with strength and dignity..." Prov 31:25
RIXI: Comfort in God alone. Rixi has been through a lot but she doesn't find her comfort in her circumstances or the events that have happened to her. She looks forward to the confident hope of the Lord. She understands that she was created in His image, and views herself with His eyes. It's an extremely beautiful thing.
STEPHANIE: Breaking down walls is worth it. We are meant for community and not to go at this life thing alone. Stephanie was a hard cookie to break. She has trust issues, and has been through a lot of hardships. It was hard with her, but finally she came around. I am so thankful the Lord helped me stick with her, because what's underneath though messy is absolutely beautiful.
LAURA: Working for the Lord. Little 11 year old Laura has the best work ethic of many people I have ever seen. I remember we had like 90 something empty boxes to haul to the dump. I was carrying like 3 boxes or so and heading that way and I look behind me and Laura has literally stuffed 14 boxes into each other, and that was only for one hand, she was doing the same thing for the other hand. Also, if the floor is dirty, she is the first one on her hands and feet scrubbing. I want to be like that. She is also much stronger than me and weighs 80 lbs. "She is energetic and strong, a hard worker." Prov. 31:17
ESTEFANY: I don't know if words do Estefany justice. Estefany is one of the special needs girls and is TRULY one of the sweetest, most joyful people I have ever met. She knows exactly how to put a smile on my face. The Lord is funny too because where our house is, I have to walk past where Estefany is every single morning to get to my kitchen. It never fails, every morning she runs to me and gives me the biggest hug and ask me how I am, all the while laughing hysterically. She also, thanks to Rebekah Cowart, learned a dance to "Miracles Happen" from High School Musical and no matter what kind of day you are having it will turn it around real quick. It's almost as if Estefany has this power to know when I am a little down or frustrated, and here she comes making me laugh and remember what it's all about. If I had to list top 10 things I will miss, Estefany would be one of them.
This is just a list from girls that I am around every day. There are many others who have impacted me while I have been here. I couldn't be more thankful for these girls and what they have meant to me, and I don't know if I'll ever be able to express it fully. I do know though wherever I go, I'll be taking my Honduran sisters along with me :)