Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Honduras: Pedro

We have been home a little over a week now. I haven't blogged yet, obviously. I have been collecting my thoughts and trying to wrap my head around it.
This is our third time in Honduras. I should be an old pro at this right? In a way that is true. However the relationships are what's making the difference. We are beginning to get to know the kids a bit more each year. And that is BEAUTIFUL.
As I begin to blog about this trip I am going to focus on several individuals who impacted me. This day I am going to focus on Pedro (his nickname).
This sweet boy is just as silly and fun as his picture. He is a bright light in Puerto Lempira. His positive attitude is contagious.  He welcomed our team and my kids from day one. He let us know we fit right in his circle of friends and the H of H. 
Pedro stays at the orphanage we lodged in for the week. My kids particularly became buddies with him. He had such a sweet spirit. He was kind and respectful.
 He was always in the middle of the fun and ALWAYS had this smile on his face.
Three of the local children homes came to play with us and have a picnic on the first day. One of the games we played involved children putting their faces in flour! :) Pedro was right there in the middle of it! 

It always amazes me how quickly the children accept we strangers into their community and are quick to laugh with us. Particularly the H of H kids. Their facility is set up to house short term missionary teams. Because of this they are constantly seeing new faces. I for one would probably get a little tired of meeting new friends and seeing them leave, over and over again! At some point I think it would be easier for me to stop 'accepting' the new faces and just ignore them... just go on about my day as if there weren't a bunch of strangers staying across the yard. If you don't get to know them you don't have to say goodbye. Right? 
Certainly there are a few who do that but for the most part they are eager to become our friends. 
This week Pierson and Pedro became just that... Friends. 
It was beautiful. In the evenings the grown ups gathered together for devotions. The first several nights my kids participated, but one evening several of the children who live at the H of H were asking to play with Pierson and Maylin as our team was gathering. 
I could have said, "No they have to come to devotions." In fact I almost did. But in a split second I had an revelation... I think my kids and the H of H kids would learn more about love and devotion if they were doing what kids do so I let them. Pierson and Maylin took their sketch books and colored pencils and while the grown ups 'devoted' the children passed the books around taking turns coloring pictures. They got to know each other... They fellowshiped with one another... I have to think this is what Jesus would have done. 
This continued to happen most nights. Such sweet kids, such sweet friendships. 

If we lived closer to Pedro he is the type of boy I would want to encourage Pierson to befriend. He is one of those kids I wouldn't mind coming over to play each day. He is the kid I would invite to dinner. Pedro is sweet and gentle. He is respectful and kind. He is fun and adventurous... 

I could go on and on about his sweet personality but I think you get the point, however there is something about Pedro I haven't told you yet and I purposely haven't... I didn't want to describe him to you by his physical appearance or his handicap... 
1. I don't think he would appreciate it. 
2. I don't think that would be the way Pierson would describe him even though it is the first thing you see
3. There is SOOO much more to Pedro than the fact that he only has one leg.
 Recently Pedro lost his leg to cancer. You would never know that it was recent because he gets around AMAZINGLY well. His spirit is amazing which just adds to his overall likability! I personally never saw him seem frustrated or slowed down the slightest by his handicap. I never saw him use his handicap for sympathy or for attention. He just was Pedro without excuse.
Honestly maybe his handicap is more of a handicap for me emotionally than it is for him physically. It is easy to want to feel sorry for him but I am pretty sure he would not like this!
 Each morning and evening Pedro was right in the middle of things.
It was beautiful to watch his friends treat him just like one of the others. It was also refreshing to watch those same kids give him a helping hand and make sure he was safe.

This next series of pictures warms my heart.
 Pedro was pedaling his 'wheelchair' up this mound of dirt when several of the other kids came to assist him, not really in getting up the hill but making sure that he didn't tumble down the other side.

 And he was off. Beautiful testimony of all these children.

 Only once did I see him staying back watching the other children play basketball. He never pouted or got angry, he just watched.
But he didn't stay down for long. In an instant he was back at it. Rain or shine nothings gonna stop Pedro. 
 Perseverance at its finest. May we all have the joy and determination of Pedro.

Our last night with Pedro. Yes my eyes are red from tears...
Again Pierson stayed out of devotions to draw with the other kids. When devotions were finished we came out to check on the kids. All of them except Pedro had gone to bed. Pierson was asleep on the porch with Pedro sitting by his side stroking his hair as if he were there to take care of him until Adam or I came to get him. I woke Pierson up and we talked to Pedro for a few minutes before we walked him across the yard to go to bed. 
This Momma sobbed uncontrollably as I watched him walk into the dimly lit corridor because I wanted to be able to take Pedro to his room and tuck him into bed. I wanted to read him a book and kiss his forehead goodnight. I wanted to hold his hand until he fell asleep. I wanted him to know just how special he is. This little caregiver needs his own caregiver. Instead he was walking into a dark room to put himself to bed to sooth himself to sleep. 
Does he know how valuable he is? Does he know what a blessing he is to others around him? I don't know. What I do know is that Pierson prays for him every night. At first he innocently prayed that Pedro's leg would grow back. Now we pray that he is eligible for a prosthetic leg. (We were told that they had to take so much of his leg that there may not be enough room to attach a prosthetic. We were also told they don't even know if they got all of the cancer.) Yet another reason it was so incredibly hard to leave him in Puerto Lempira. The government "hospital" there is on the verge of shutting down because they have no supplies, no medicines... 
Please pray with us for Pedro. Pray that he gets a leg. Pray that the cancer is GONE. Pray he knows and feels the love of our Savior! 


Kristi said...

I've read and re-read this post and each time it brings me to tears.
No child, not Pedro, NOT ANY CHILD should have to go to bed tonight without someone to at least kiss their forehead and smooth their hair. My heart aches for Pedro and all the forgotten ones...
May our generation be the one that begins to change the way it is for orphans and may our children's generation be the one to see the orphan crisis OVER! Praying again and again for ways to be part of the solution...

Kathy said...

God Bless you Pedro!