Saturday, October 5, 2013

Portraits | Olivia-Grey

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She exudes joy and laughter. Her stunning blue-grey eyes and her sweet smile is a glimpse of her beauty inside. And she’s my cousin :). She went on a mission trip to Costa Rica this past summer so I asked her if she would write some about her trip and she happily said yes! You should definitely read her story below!

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        My name is Olivia-Grey. I recently went on a mission’s trip to Costa Rica. Having never been on a mission’s trip, I was not sure of what to expect. I had been told this mission’s trip was primarily to minister to orphans and children who had been taken out of sex trafficking, aka playing with kids. Working with kids is something I have always enjoyed so this greatly excited me. But I was having a hard time connecting what ‘playing with kids’ had to do with a “mission’s trip”.

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Over the next 9 days, I awoke excited for what the Lord had in store for me. Some of the days, we worked directly with the orphanage, visiting them, taking them to the zoo, creating a field day for them with playhouses and face painting along with Bible Story time. Their favorite activity was jumping off a rock where we would catch them and spin them around. I found myself amazed that such a small activity could bring such huge smiles and laughter from children who had been hurt by so much. Other days we worked with the homeless and a local impoverished village where they had multiple families living in shacks without doors and they had to use park benches for couches. Before the trip my sister and I made beaded bracelets to pass out along with glittered combs. When we started to pass them out, it created such a mob, that we had to stop. I was touched by the fact that such a small trinket to us in America was like giving them a million dollars both for the kids and the moms. I found myself humbled and convicted over realizing how much I truly have and how blessed I really am.

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Two stories that will forever stay with me are of Estaban and Kathleen. Estaban and some of the other orphans thought it was quite funny to make a game of dropping pens on my head. Luckily they weren’t permanent. While we were in Costa Rica, Estaban turned 16. However, Estaban has never ‘celebrated’ his birthday. The Team decided to sing Happy Birthday to him. To my knowledge that was the first time anyone had ever sang Happy Birthday to him. From the look on his face, that simple song we take for granted, was truly a gift, one that made his day.

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Kathleen was a mini Shirley Temple, with curly blond hair. She was 2 years old. Kathleen was the youngest child at the orphanage that was taken out of sex trafficking. She did not have the smile of a two year old. She did not have the wonderment of a toddler and she did not have the laugh of a child. Instead, Kathleen had the anger of a grown adult, so angry at what she had been put through, that she trusted no one, would go to no one, and would smile for no one. It took me the full 9 days just to get her to let me give her a hug. I quickly learned that ‘playing with kids’ was most definitely a mission’s trip. I was truly on a mission-a mission to show God’s love. Because of what Kathleen has experienced, I have to begin with giving her a hug.

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My trip to Costa Rica stopped being a ‘trip’ the minute my foot touched Costa Rican dirt. It became a life changing experience-a defining moment in my life. I don’t hope to go back, I KNOW I am going back. Because as my mom says, I left my heart in Costa Rica.

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1 comment :

  1. Her story is amazing! It is awesome what God can do in such a short amount of time. Oh and her eyes! I just really love her eyes.

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