September is a month of big holidays in Honduras! We’ve celebrated Día del Niño and Independence day during the past two weeks. Independence day involved a large parade through our small town with the children from all schools nearby. The children practiced for months for their synchronized dances and helped create their own costumes for the marching band. The mayor and important folk from the community were recognized in the city center onstage and gave speeches honoring Honduras’s 196th year of independence! It was quite the event.
I spent most of my time with a girl named Danely. She was brought to the children’s home about 1 year ago where she was treated at the hospital for xeroderma pigmentosum. Xeroderma pigmentosum is a genetic disease where there is an impaired ability to repair UV sun damage to the skin. This leads to degeneration of the skin and eyes and development of skin cancer in early childhood. When Danely first arrived, the hospital removed her eyes and began reconstructive surgery on her mouth to remove cancerous tissue.
My first experience with Danely was of her comforting another child in the children’s home who was upset. When she (being blind) first heard their cry, she yelled in the direction of the sound that “It will be ok! It will be ok!” and began making shushing calming sounds to comfort this friend. This disabled little girl who has had so much taken from her at an early age- her family, her health, her sight- is one of the most joyful and inspirational children that I have had the pleasure to meet. Rarely is she upset, rather she is full of laughter with simple pleasures- making a cheerios necklace, playing catch with a balloon (rather difficult while blind, I’ll tell you!), and hitting a piñata (the only child that didn’t need a bandana during the Día del Niño).
Danely has been teaching me contentment and joy in all circumstances. While her face is disfigured with cancerous sores, the Lord views her as one of his beautiful chosen ones. Danely likely will only be with us a little while longer- there is concern that the cancer is close to spreading to her brain, but while she is here God continues to use her to teach me of his joy, grace, and love for all of us. I am reminded of the verse in Psalm 34:5, “Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.” Danely’s soul is bursting with radiance! Sitting with her in the shade holding hands during Día del Niño, learning more about her, the Lord blessed my spirit- I hope hearing about her has blessed yours.
Thank you for your support for us on this mission field! Please know that in addition to the hospital, there are many other ministries here at Loma de Luz such as the orphanage, housing 31 other children like Danely each with their own story.
Click the link to view a short video of activities during Día del Niño around the children’s home – Dia del Nino celebration
Alisa and Andrew Geers