Permit me to take a step back and tell you about Monday night here at Rancho Santa Marta. We had the distinct honor to be invited into the group homes for dinner. As you know, Rancho Santa Marta was begun as an orphanage here in rural Baja California. Over the years it continued to develop as a special education school, and eventually as a regular elementary and junior high school. Nevertheless, they have not forgotten their first call.
Here at the Rancho are currently four group homes, two for girls and two for boys. Each has house parents who for the love of God devote their lives to raising these children. Monday evening we were split into four groups, with each group going into a different home. While we sent one Spanish speaker with each of our groups, there were still quite a language barrier. Nevertheless, after the initial shyness and awkward silences, we all begin to find ways to connect. In some homes, such as the one I visited, the 11 and 12 year olds were excited to try their English skills they have been learning in class. In fact, one young man went as far as to enlist Kayli in helping him complete his English homework. Valentine, the 11 year old boy who insisted I sit next to him, delighted in sharing a Christian devotional for boys in written in English with Jericha and me, asking me to read, in English, the day’s reflection.
Each house had special stories and memories. In the older boys’ house they all discovered that the universal language was the card game Uno. In the older girls’ house there was apparently some sort of sing-off. First, two of the Mexican girls regaled our group with a rendition of one of their favorite songs in Spanish. Chet and Peter pondered very carefully which song they were to sing. When they began, the house burst into laughter at the first lines of the perennial, if seasonally inappropriate, “Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer.” The Mexican girls sang along with them in English.
That evening we gathered for our evening chapel time. The theme of the evening was centered in Isaiah’s vision of the Peaceable Kingdom, when God gathers the nations and they shall “beat their spears into pruning hooks, and their swords into plowshares.” We talked about what seemed like a fun evening with children from another country was really a foretaste of the Peaceable Kingdom. We were participating, in our small little way, in God’s great vision for the world.
Emma did a wonderful job kicking off our discussion of how we were touched by the time we had in the homes, after which Sam bid the prayers of each of our groups for those they had gotten to know that night and their lives.
Oremos por nosotros,