What a great trip our Christmas/New Year one was, to wrap up 2012 and lead into 2013! Not Forgotten had the privilege of sending a team of 14 individuals to Iquitos, Peru to spend time doing maintenance on existing children’s homes that we partner with and, more importantly, building relationships and loving on 87 boys – showing them in a tangible way that they are indeed “Not Forgotten.” We treasure the trip that falls during this time of the year because the message that you are “not forgotten” can carry a deeper meaning for people during the holidays. This is a season that naturally reminds these children very harshly that they are not with their families. We desire to bring joy, laughter, healthy distraction, true hope, and celebration to them to cheer them up during what has the potential to be a dark time.
For the second half of our trip (Jan. 1-Jan. 4), we headed back into the city of Iquitos to spend time with the older boys, ages 14-17, and those who now live in the nearby transition home. There our project was to sand, scrape, and re-paint the outer wall of the boys’ home in the city. In the remaining time we worked more puzzles, played soccer and volleyball, played (a little) basketball, made bracelets, played games, sang and danced some more, took the boys to a recreation park, took them to the movies, delivered more presents and Crocs, and played a lot of practical jokes (hint: whoopee cushions were involved).
Another especially exciting part of the trip was showing Not Forgotten’s property to our team and sharing with them the vision that we have for it. It was encouraging to the leadership of Not Forgotten to see the progress that is being made on the land and to have the chance to spend time with our friends who are faithfully guarding and working on it while we are stateside. Good news, people: grass is growing on the soccer field! (Remember this is South America; let’s talk about priorities, here.)
In summary, we want to specifically thank our amazing team for their hard work, tireless efforts, willingness to get dirty, encouraging spirits, flexibility, positive attitudes, and heart for these children and this ministry. It was an honor to serve alongside each of you. And lastly, but potentially most importantly, we want to thank those of YOU who gave to make this trip possible. Whether you sponsored a child so that we could buy him Christmas gifts or Crocs, or you supported one of our stellar team members, you contributed in a huge way and we are extremely grateful. Thank you for your eternal investment for the sake of making our King and His Kingdom known on this earth.