Today was our last day at the orphanages. This morning we went to an orphanage for malnurished children from infant-2 years. We met lots of babies and heard some amazing stories. The one that shocked us the most was Esmerelda’s. She was 11 months old and was put into the care of the orphanage because she was malnurished and sexually abused by her father. She was only 11 MONTHS OLD!!! When she first got to the orphanage she wouldn’t let any men near her. When the male doctors would try to examiner her she would push their hands away because she feared what was about to happen to her.
The people at this orphanage are doing an amazing job at nursing these children back to health both physically and mentally.
After that we had lunch at this beautful little hotel overlooking an amazing volcanic lake. It was traditional El Salvadorian food and we had a great time being there and preparing ourselves for heading to the special needs orphanage.
We had been warned that this orphanage (San Marteen) could be really emotionally draining. We got there and took a tour and found out they had 120 people from 8-50. All of them were severely handicapped whether physically or emotionally. During our tour we passed the psychiatric house…the kids were not allowed out of the house at all. We also found out from looking in the windows that they didn’t have sheets or anything the people just slept on plastic matresses. We assumed it’s because they’re easier to clean.
After the tour we did a program for everyone that was in the facility that was able to make it (which was most of them). This was probably the most rewarding program we had done all week. We did 2 puppet shows…one about how God loves them and one about how God forgives them.. and they all really loved it. We also did a craft with them. We passed out paper plates and stickers. They LOVED the stickers and the plates. All of us really got to interact with the kids and the adults, it was a great time. They were SO EXCITED that we were there. We were assuming they don’t get visited too often because the orphanage is far from town and not many teams go out that far.
After we did the program we haded out candy and toys to everyone. WE also donated some toiletries and a couple of soccer balls to them. Before we left they showed us the kitchen…it was beautiful a group had built it last time they were down about 6 months ago. But they didn’t have a cafeteria. They showed us the land they owned to build the cafeteria on. They also showed us where theives were coming through the fence around their complex and they were stealing stuff and sexually abusing some of the girls. They said they would like to build a wall around the grounds (pretty much like everything else in El Salvador has) and put razor wire on top (pretty much like everything else in El Salvador has).
We are so thankful that we could be a part of bringing some joy to a dark place. According to Kurt (the local missionary) the place has improved dramatically over the last year since they got a new director who actually cares somewhat about her job and the people there.
We area all overwhelmed with our experiences this week. Tomorrow we head to Mrs Mediate’s sister’s beach house to debrief and hang out. We are looking forward to that after an incredibly busy week. You probably won’t here from us again while we are down here, so i guess we’ll see you when we get home.
I’ll post pics on yesterday’s post and today’s post.