We are Chris and Suzanne Roberts. Last July Chris went on a mission’s trip to La Casa de Mi Padre with our church, Cumberland Church out of Franklin, TN. He felt such a connection with the boys at La Casa, as the team worked on the boy’s home. And since then we have made a special effort to keep in touch with the boys there. They are all so special and it has been amazing to see how God is working in each of their lives. We were able to go down as a couple back in October, and again this past week in January.It is such a pleasure for us to be at La Casa when the boys are in their everyday routine. We have gotten to see how La Casa is run, not just as an organization, but as a home. When we got there, the boys had returned from their day at school and were working on their homework. These boys work hard, and are learning the value of a good work ethic! We especially noticed how well Miguel and Pinto are doing as they have started jobs. (Miguel is going to school and working!) Since October, we noticed such a positive change in him. He has so much joy in his life now and seems he is really coming into his own. He was asking Chris how old *he* was when he started working and studying. Chris was able to encourage him to keep making good choices in his life.
On Saturday we took the boys bowling and then had pizza back at La Casa and celebrated Pinto’s birthday! It was a treat to have a piece of Pinto’s birthday cake which he made himself! He was very proud to share with everyone! Later we got to play Just Dance 3 on the X Box Kinnect (gratefully borrowed from Carlos Powell 🙂 It was hilarious, to say the least! Everyone could let down and just have fun together! No language barriers there!
Mostly we just enjoyed hanging out with the boys, getting to know them, and encourage them! La Casa is a relaxing place where everyone is free to be who they are, sillyness and all! One afternoon we played Memory with a couple of the boys…even though I tend to think of that game for smaller children, the boys loved playing, and it was a great way for me to work on my Spanish words, and for them to work on their English words! Each boy really does want to connect and feel special. We have found that there are many ways to not only connect, but also communicate with these kids even though we speak a different language.
On Sunday after church, we took them to a field to play soccer. When we arrived, there was another group already playing on the field. The other team quickly challenged ‘our’ boys to a game. Little did the other team know what they would be up against! WOW! The athletic talent that many of these boys have is incredible! It was so fun to watch them do their thing! It’s like second nature for them! I sat in the cheering section very impressed! And to know that they are in a place that will encourage and nurture their God given talents and abilities makes it so much better!
Later on Sunday we decorated cupcakes! I know, it seems a little girly, but it was my contribution to the weekend! I think they loved baking and decorating! Don’t let these big growing boys fool you…they loved being in the kitchen, baking, and just being together! Decorating was fun too! After that, we said our good byes…which is always sad. Like I said, they long to connect, to feel special. Whenever we leave we try to challenge them and encourage them to be the young men God has called them to be. We call out each of the giftings we see in them and assure them we’ll be back! (Thank you Alejandra Powell for being our translater all week!)
A piece of our hearts is in San Salvador. As we have grown to love each boy, we are so thankful that La Casa de Mi Padre exists and that these kids are flourishing! We’ve seen it and we’ve experienced it! We thank them for allowing us to be a small part in all God is doing there.