A few weeks ago my mother-in-law and I were talking about Nueva Esperanza while we were supposed to be watching the Super Bowl. It’s been almost a year since she spent 3 days there and she still thinks about the kids a lot. She talks about the kids a lot. She prays for the kids a lot. She knows the kids made an impact on her but she struggles with whether or not being there really made a difference in the kids’ lives. She asked me “Do you really think we made any impact on the kids at all?”

I knew my answer was an adamant yes, but I couldn’t immediately think of why… Did the kids’ lives significantly and permanently improve because of those three days? No. The best way I could think to describe how worthwhile her time was, was to talk about Sean. There are many reasons why I married Sean. We share many of the same interests, we work well as a team, love dogs, love God, have fun together, I think he’s pretty darn cute, and the list goes on. But probably the number 1 reason is how safe and secure he makes me feel. I know without a doubt that he always wants what’s best for me, cares deeply for me, believes in me and will fight for me. When I think about Sean it’s like a deep exhale. It’s complete safety. It’s guaranteed acceptance and the freedom to let my guard down. I feel at peace.
And that’s what we can bring to these kids. Most likely only for a little while, but any amount of time that we can feel safe and peaceful is rejuvenating. It’s life giving in an environment that can often feel quite the opposite.

When you braid a little girls hair, learn a boys name – and remember it the next day, or hold hands with a toddler as you walk to the playground you’re telling them that they matter and that they’re worthy of being known.

Can you list every person in your life that has ever made you feel safe or important? Of course not. But each person was important in forming who you are today.

I will be leading 3 teams to Honduras this year and I would like you to join me. Join me in creating a safe space for them to exhale.
This quote is part of a recent blog post by Mary Elizabeth. She is a college student who did an internship with Buckner last summer and spent lots of time in Nueva. I can’t agree more with her words…
“One thing that we do so often here in the States is talk about the orphans and afflicted in the world. We even have compassion for them. But oh how different it is to hold them in your arms, to hold their hands, to look at their beautiful faces and stare into their eyes. It changes everything.” (emphasis mine)

Will you join me?

July 9-23 The first week we’ll be in Nueva Esperanza (government center with boys and girls ages 0-14) and the second week we’ll be in Proniño (private center for street boys ages 8-18) You have the option of attending both weeks or only the first or second!
July 9-16 (Nueva Esperanza only) $550 + the cost of airfare
July 16-23 (Proniño only) $650 + the cost of airfare
July 9-23 (Both centers) $1000 + the cost of airfare
Details for the September trip to Nueva Esperanza and the November trip to Proniño will be determined soon!
Please contact me at jkast@hth.org if you are interested!


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2 responses to “Exhaling

  1. Well put…I think the same applies to kids in general, when I interned at an inner city elemantary school, my goal was just to make the kids feel safe, it's so true they can let their guard down and you can make them feel important with the littlest of gestures because they are used to nothing, every little thing you do is more than their norm.

  2. Dear Jenny YOU are a saint. Your kindness towards these children are helping them thrive beautifully. YOU and your husband have a beautiful relationship that you are now extending to them. THANK you for your goodnessLOVE JUDY SCOTT

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