This is the saddest blog story to date, but I have promised to be real about our life here and sometimes that means sharing the tough stuff too.
One of the things that drew us to move to this area on the Bay of Banderas was our work at the Children’s Shelter Manos de Amor. From the very first visit, we fell in love with the children and with the work that was being done in the shelter. Children who needed a safe place because their own moms and dads and grandmas just couldn’t care for them. For many reasons. For hard reasons. Every little one had a story and we became a part of each one.
We taught them English. We drove them from their little homes in surrounding villages back to the safety of the nest. We held them as they cried and wiped up a LOT of snot with our shirt sleeves. We had them live in our home on weekends – one little one for 6 weeks while she awaited surgery for an illness too terrible to talk about. We organized fundraisers and we painted another layer of bright yellow paint over muddy fingerprints. We sat in a hospital room with one living in silence as he received the cochlear implant that would finally give him sound. We gave our hearts fully to them and felt God’s hand in every minute of it.
Unfortunately, over the past couple of years we have also experienced some disappointing things that have now caused us to step back and away from the home and the organization. Some values that don’t align. Some behaviors that we can’t justify. Some attitudes that are contrary to who we want to be and who we want to work with. Some missing accountabilities and foggy transparency. I am not going to give details here – you can contact me if you want – but as a member of the Steering Committee who worked for almost 2 years to repair some of the breaches, we now realize that it is time to move on. As a committee we were almost fully united in our plea – please hear us or we must leave.
I won’t lie – our hearts are broken. But we also feel peace in knowing that when you do what you believe is right, good things can happen. Even when it hurts. Love always wins and standing up for love, demanding integrity, fighting for kids is always right.
We are definitely not done caring for the ‘least of these’ in our community. We see intriguing doors in front of us and we are so excited to move ahead with passion, expectation, grace, forgiveness, and hope. There will soon be more snot on our sleeves, and we are pumped! Stay tuned…