Day Six, Saturday

July 23, 2011

Hola Nino’s and Nina’s! This is the extent of my Spanish speaking ability and it’s only because of a Saturday Night Live skit with Chris Farley acting as Matt Foley, the Spanish motivational speaker. If only I hadn’t dropped my Spanish class in college I wouldn’t have to rely on SNL for my espaniol education. Luckily for me, and the rest of us who only speak a few words of Spanish, a hug can overcome any language barrier. That is what yesterday (Saturday) was all about. I will get to Saturday after I wrap up what this week has meant to me.

I was on team “B” of our group. Our group was responsible for creating a life-like obstacle course for the RIT (Rapid Intervention Team) training. We tried to make the course as difficult as what we would go through in the States. The problem with that was we only had two days to come up with what we were going to do, find the products to complete our vision of the course, and then build it. Thankfully, our team was composed of guys with a lot of experience in the fire service to come up with the course and many years of carpentry to build it. We weren’t reinventing the wheel with anything on this course, but we made sure to make it challenging. The course came out better than we had envisioned it.

Only having two years in the fire service, it’s always been me who’s going through these obstacle courses while having a much more experienced firefighter push me through. I’ve never been on the other end of instructing and guiding firefighters through. This presented a challenge for me because I had to confront my own insecurities of feeling inadequate to instruct 10+ year veterans. In the States, guys would look at me and say, “who is this guy trying to tell us what he knows.” That was not the case at all here. These men and women looked to me for instruction when they were in a bind. They wanted me to tell them the best way to take on the task. Two things happened at this point: 1) I was blown away at their humble spirit and willingness to learn, and 2) it made me realize how blessed I’ve been to be placed where I am to learn from the best in the world and how often I don’t think on that fact. I’d love to explain more, but our trip leader is riding me like Zorro to get this blog done. So…on to Saturday.

Saturday was “supposed” to be a relaxing day due to our intense schedule the previous 4 days. We began the day on the roof of our compound talking about the week and what the Lord has been doing in us. It was a really special time listening to all the guys share their hearts. We then proceeded to Fundaninos orphanage to spend time with the children and help put up some barbwire along the fence line. This was also a time to see where The Village Church sends support.

As soon as we arrived at the orphanage, multiple children walked up and extending their arms asking to be held. As I stated earlier, the human touch breaks all language barriers. Most of these children couldn’t understand English, but all of them could understand your touch. Throughout our entire time there, some of these kids would just sit in your lap. These children yearned for that touch. To know that they are loved, to know they are going to be taken care of as long as you’re there, to know that you recognize them. What a picture of our need for Christ and what He provides to us!

One little girl named Sandra was my favorite. She was probably 3 years old, looked just like Dora The Explorer, and was my match for being sarcastic. Every time I would try to say a word in Spanish, she would repeat it back to me in a sarcastic voice showing me how wrong I was. After about an hour and a half of playing, Sandra fell asleep in my arms. It was a very sweet time for me until I had to wake her up because they said she would not have gone to sleep that night if she continued her nap. If I could have taken her home with me that day, I would have.

While some of us were playing with the children, some of our team fixed their barbwire fence and fixed their pool pump. As someone who is not gifted in fixing things, this was another example to me of how much the Lord had His hands in this trip. I couldn’t physically fix what they needed, but there were members of our team that could.

All-in-all, this was probably the most exhausting day, yet it was also the most fulfilling day of our trip for me. I pray that we always remember these children. They need hugs, the universal sign of love. More importantly though, they need to understand that the love of Christ surpasses anything that we can give. They need to know that although they might have been forgotten by some, they will never leave the thoughts of Christ. This is a fact that we should all remember.

Kevin Bailey
Carrollton Fire Dept.

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2 Responses to “Day Six, Saturday”

  1. Great stuff, Kevin! Thanks for sharing your heart on these things! Really missed being there with you guys this year! It’s been great keeping up on the blog!

    Glad you guys got to spend time at Fundaninos! It is a very special place for Jen & I. We love it there!

    You guys enjoy your last moments there and we will see you when you get back!

  2. Pat Kirby Says:

    What adorable children! I am sure the kids will remember the Texas group for a long time.

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