I often explain to teams on the first day here that our children are normal, everyday kids.  I am reminding them that if they let the kids use their cameras it is at their own risk.  “They won’t try to damage your camera but they are normal, everyday kids.”  In other words, things happen.  

Being normal, everyday kids is what makes them so extraordinary given their backgrounds and the environment in which they live.  Take 13 year old Yessenia, for example. She, along with her sister and brother, suffered greatly before coming to our Children’s Home.  Last month, during her confirmation, she said, “The reason I want to be confirmed is so I can put my past behind me and look towards the future following Jesus.”  During the same service, 4 other previously confirmed kids were recognized for their leadership in church.  Julio for co-leading the praise band, Daniel for being head usher and Sunday School teacher, Mirza for co-leading the praise band.  Silvia, 14, answered a call from the Lord and started an intercessory group with other kids at the Children’s Home.  During communion, she prayed for anyone requesting prayers.  Extraordinary!

Julio, Daniel, Silvia, Mirza
At our safe house, the girls have started a choreography group led by the newest girl, D, 16.  These girls were rescued from a living hell, some just a few months ago.  I am breathless as they dance to a song that includes,

With my life I want to worship
With all that I have and what I am
All I’ve been I give you
May my life be to you as a perfume at your feet

They leave behind the horrors of the past and focus on the promise of God’s love. Extraordinary!

In our new transition home, N is making the transition from the safe house to independence.  She is working as a baker so she can support herself and her family. A child who came to us angry, hardened and suspicious is now filled with joy, love and a huge smile for all.  Extraordinary!

In Flor del Campo, Mikey is a walking, talking miracle.  He has a heart defect that should have killed him as a baby. Instead, he joined the Alonzo Movement as a young teen and now is a leader.  Just last Friday, we watched as he taught older teen boys how to pray and how to be responsible members of the club.  He reminded them that God is always faithful, through good times and bad.  “Trust in God!  He walks every step with you!”  Extraordinary!

In our school, children leave impoverished, often violent homes, to dream of their futures as doctors, teachers, astronauts, mechanics, business owners, etc. They come together to worship each Wednesday morning, often giving extra love and support to a classmate who has suffered a recent loss.  Extraordinary!
Our children are, indeed, normal everyday kids who are doing extraordinary things.  In other words, “God happens!”