By Lisa Phillips
This summer, July 9-16, I will go on a mission trip, visiting and working at a home for children who have no family to care for them. NPH, as it is known (Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos - Spanish for "Our Little Brothers and Sisters"), provides a home for over 550 children who have been orphaned, abandoned, abused, or shuffled from one family member to another. They come from alarming poverty in the most violent country in the world, to NPH Rancho Santa Fe, a place where they find love, security, and a place to call home.
NPH is unique in that it specifically seeks to keep siblings together and is not a typical “orphanage” because the program does not seek to place the children in adoptive homes. When children come to NPH, they are told they will never be asked to leave, and many stay to complete their college education, followed by a Year of Service at the ranch. NPH Honduras has a preschool/kindergarten, primary and secondary schools, training in technical skills, and medical facilities. They grow much of their own food.
Twenty-three people, mostly members of my church, are taking part: four middle school students, six high school students, five college students (including my daughter) and eight adults. While there, we will do chores on the ranch while the children are in school, then interact with the children through activities, meals, and homework. We’ll spend one evening with the NPH staff, volunteers, and Year of Service students, and will also visit the NPH home for severely disabled children.
Why am I going? I suppose you could say my reasons are entirely selfish. I think it will be a life-changing experience. In today’s world, riddled by hatred, violence, and terrorism, I hunger for a way to renew my faith in humanity. I am particularly eager to spend time with the youth in our team; I know they will be amazing. I am godmother to Yadira, a 9-year-old girl at the ranch; I’m looking forward to meeting her for the first time. And maybe…just maybe…I can do something to bring joy to others while I’m there. And come home with hope.
6/11/2015 12:47:43 am
Love this Lisa. Especially the final paragraph. So excited to be with you on the trip!
7/9/2015 05:25:27 am
I am in awe of my sister and all of you who are sacrificing your time to go and serve others. I do believe you will be changed by this experience. Lisa, I hope you return with a renewed sense of hope and the knowledge that we can, and in your case, do make a difference in the lives of others whether it's abroad or at home. I see you doing that every day.
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