This will be my second time participating in this missions trip to La Casa de la Esperanza orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico.
Each year Gordon students travel to Tijuana, Mexico over winter break, nurturing the long-term relationship between Gordon College and the community in Tijuana.
Last year on the trip I was able to meet four young siblings: Vanessa, 11, Edson, 10, Eric, 9, Derek, 8. Although I was unable to speak the language, these four treated me as their mother. They took care of me in so many unexpected ways. They taught me humility and hospitality as they served me when I was there to serve them. Each morning I woke up to their four little faces waiting for me outside our hut. They couldn't wait to take my hand and lead me on a new adventure that day. Half way through the week that I was there, late at night, their mother (who had just been released from jail for drugs) and stepfather came to the orphanage and demanded to take the kids home. Hearing comotion, I walked over and the same four little faces that I had come to know and love ran up to me, wrapped their arms around me, and began to cry. As their parents told them that it was time to go, I kissed each one on their head. One by one they left me until Vanessa was the only one with her arms still around my waist. As she let go she whispered "mi nombre, mi nombre" begging me to remember her name. I will not only remember her name as well as her siblings names, but I will remember the moments I spent with them. I will remember every game we played and everything they taught me. I will always carry those memories with me.
As I prepare to return this year, I am eager to learn more from this culture, these people, these small children who are so eager to love and be loved. I cannot wait to meet new children and to make new memories.