Love Always


So one morning I was washing the kid’s cups, thinking about some stuff, when I looked out the window and saw a little girl using the bathroom. Except there was no room, instead she was outside, and there was no toilet, instead it was a bucket. It took me a minute to process what I had just seen. One second I was trying to sort through my personal issues in my head and the next I’m seeing a little girl openly defacating behind her house. I had seen this little girl before since she lives right next to the school and is in the other 4-5 year old classroom. Though she is not one of my students, she’s quick to run up to me and give me a hug. She’s always smiling and playing with her friends in front of the school. The fact that her and her family live in a small house with no bathroom does not stop her from smiling. I thought to myself, if she’s that happy considering her circumstances, then I should be too!

On another occasion, I had to visit a Montessori school with a couple other teachers and that was the first time I saw the rich side of the city. The school was fancy, the houses were schnazzy, and the streets were clean! As we were driving back to our school, it was interesting to see how quickly the neighborhoods changed from affluent to poverty stricken. I felt like I was in two different worlds that morning. When I entered my classroom, I was greeted with lots of hugs and smiles. They shouted “profe Gabby!! Donde estabas?? Te extra├▒abamos!” (For my non-Spanish speakers that translates to “where were you? We missed you!) I felt so much love upon entering that classroom. I even got hugs from the kids I always have to discipline! And they weren’t like the sorta side hugs you give someone you don’t really like. They were the super tight ‘okay, my pants are kinda falling’ type of hugs. Amidst all the hugs and shouts, I thought “well that school was nice and the kids were well behaved, but I’ll take these crazy kiddos any day!” They test my patience every single day but they also show me God’s love in different ways.

Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God is yours.
Lk 6:20

Yes, these kids are poor. Some live in houses that look like I could probably push over if I really tried. We had to make home visits one day and that was the first time I saw how they live. It was a humbling experience to say the least. The fact that they live the way they do and come to school with a huge smile on their face is incredibly admirable. Some don’t know where their next meal is coming from or if it’s coming at all. However, this doesn’t stop them from sharing their happiness with you. Though these kids are poor, they are rich in love. They are quick to talk to you, to give you a hug, to give you a kiss, and to give you a smile.

All of these experiences really put things into perspective for me because it helped me realize that my “problems” pale in comparison to the problems some of these families face on a daily basis. To be quite honest, I came here during a period of spiritual desolation. But God, knowing my heart, knew that I need to come here to be strengthened by Him through His people. These kids, these people, have helped me draw closer to Jesus’ heart, and for that I am grateful. I came here to serve them, but little did I know that they would help me heal. I can only imagine what the next nine months have in store for me but being here has reinforced one thing:

God is good all the time, and all the time God is good.

Love always,

PS I would like to wish my Lilly girl, aka my niece, a very happy 8th birthday on Sunday! I love you my sweet girl and miss you and your dances so so much!! (Vernie show her this so she can read it)