Monday, February 7, 2011

A Special Night for a Special Young Lady.

On Friday, January 28th, we celebrated the 15th birthday of Nilda, our eldest child in the home. For those of you who don’t know, a girl’s 15th birthday in Latin America is a BIG event. It is the 15th year that signifies a girl’s coming of age and the 15th birthday parties are often bigger events than a wedding. We wanted this celebration to be something very special for Nilda, a night that she would remember. Nilda has been in the home since before Shaun and I arrived in Paraguay. She was one of the children that greeted us our first day in the country, and she has been a special blessing to us ever since. Nilda lives in House 1 with her four younger siblings, Carlos, Ever, Rocio, and Cristina. She loves to do computer work and is serious about her English studies, hoping to someday study in the United States. She is a very responsible older sister, always helping with her younger siblings and the other children in her house.

Nilda with her siblings, house parents, and "house siblings" from House 1

It was our first time to plan a QuinceaƱos (15th birthday party), so we were a little lost about all the details it should entail. We made sure that the evening included time for our pastor to share with Nilda about being a young woman who would serve the Lord. We also presented Nilda with a new Bible and a necklace and earring set with heart-shaped pendants. We shared with her about keeping her heart for the Lord and always remembering that she was His child. The evening began with her grand entrance on Carlos, her brother’s, arm. We then showed a power point presentation of pictures of Nilda over the past two years, set to a worship song that she chose. The ceremony also included a time for the waltz, a traditional part of all 15th parties. Nilda began the dance with Carlos and then Ever, her brothers. Later, all the children joined in the waltz. Many had been practicing for several weeks prior to the party to be able to dance the waltz that night. The party ended, of course, with eating finger foods and cake and ice cream, and taking hundreds of pictures with Nilda, who looked beautiful in her dress that a friend made for her at no cost.

Nilda and the Mortons

Shaun and I were so overwhelmed at how our church family and the workers in the home all joined in to make the event special. One of our house moms decorated the entire area, making the backdrop for the party absolutely beautiful. The other house parents and children from all of the houses worked to clear the party area and to bring and set up chairs for the event. Our pastor and his wife from church donated a lovely three tier cake, while other friends from the church donated fresh flowers. We even had people from church give cash donations to help us purchase the food and other items for the party. We were so blessed by the generosity of our Paraguayan friends, and we thank the Lord for placing them not just in our lives but in the lives of the children in the home.

Please continue to keep the children in the home in your prayers. We hope that each day they spend in our homes will be a time of growing, healing, and learning to trust both the Lord and others. Thank you for the part that you play in making this ministry possible. May the Lord bless you!

1 comment:

abigail said...

Thanks for sharing these moments.