May 30, 2010
Today, the hour came and went for Hora Feliz. Only one child showed up. We were quite confused, as they usually come hours early and stand out front yelling our names until we open the doors. I walked down to a few houses, and the mothers told me our church had come and gotten the kids this morning for the yearly boxes. (I should explain that here, all non-Catholic churches "look the same" to Catholics, so what she meant is that some non-Catholic church was doing something for children today. They use the word "evangelical" where we'd say Protestants.)
About an hour later, the children came walking back home, each of them with a red shoebox in hand. SAMARATIN'S PURSE! How cool. Most of the boxes had notes inside, in English, so I had the privilege of translating little letters written by kids from far away, written to these little people they'd never meet. If you don't know about the program, Samaritan's Purse collects shoeboxes full of school supplies, socks, gloves, hard candy, toothbrushes, etc.--whatever you can fit inside--around Christmas time, and distributes them to third-world countries. It takes about 5 months for them to arrive here, apparently.
The smiles on their faces were just priceless. It was so neat for us to be a part of seeing the other side of this project. For years we assembled shoeboxes and tucked inside a note and a picture of our family, with little goodies. But to see the actual children receiving these boxes and oohing and aahing over every little thing inside just made our day. What a neat program! (Pictures below....)