Thanks to a donation from Peerless Road COGOP's children's ministries, we were able to buy Christmas presents for every child in the orphanage. With help from the other missionaries working here in Llano Verde, we were also able to wrap every present.
The little girls each got a new pony, complete with hair accesories and stickers and a small doll. As soon as they could get the packages open, the hair brushes went to work styling the pony's hair. The girls that are a little older received baby dolls with bottles and toys, all packaged in a bookbag. They were proudly carrying them around. The four oldest girls were given new purses, hair accessories, sunglasses, and Bibles.
For the youngest boys, dinosaurs and toy cars were the surprise. They were running around wildly winding up the cars and letting them fly. The next age group of boys got some toy that launches discs- I don't know what to call it, but they loved it. Because of the love of soccer in Guatemala, the five oldest boys each got a Guatemala soccer jersey and a study Bible.
Because our time here is coming to a close, we filled the front of the Bibles for the oldest boys and girls with a letter explaining our desire for each of them to choose to serve Christ and telling them that they would be in our hearts and prayers, and they will be. Handing these out was the most difficult part of the day for me (Sara). Watching the oldest girls' responses to the letters was really difficult. I was at the point of breaking down when Shaun told me to get a grip so that I wasn't crying while handing out presents.
The final group to receive gifts were the babies. For the room of 10 toddlers, we picked out giant floor tiles with the alphabet that can be made into blocks or a giant alphabet mat. Individually, the babies each got a bouncy ball. Along with the presents, all the kids got a snack to go along with the festivities.
The day was a great success. Several hours after handing out the presents, most of the kids had still not been able to put down their gifts. The following day, some of the oldest boys proudly wore their jerseys to play soccer.
The hardest part of leaving Guatemala is leaving these children. Please pray that we would have some good final moments with each of the kids and continue to keep the kids here in your prayers.
Shaun and Sara