Tiny Smiles and Big Hearts

On Monday we had our first “official” visit to a Compassion partner church, The Ark of Salvation in San Pedro Sula. The children meet in the church while they’re building a new classroom facility.

This is one of the little faces that greeted us today. This girl, and all the children her age, were making puppets.

Another wee girl showed off her puppet while eating some bean soup. She told me it was delicious! (And it was; they made this same soup for us!)

One of the things some of us got to do was actually serve the children their lunch (I was not part of that group on Monday; maybe another day). Every day the kids are at the church to take part in the program, they get a healthy, nutritious meal made by the project’s very talented staff.

After lunch, it was baby-time! This little guy (whose 11-year-old aunt attends the program) was a hoot to hold and play with. I’ve been going through baby-smile withdrawals since I left on Friday night. (Another shot the baby is here.) Because I’ve got a baby and a preschooler at home, I know (generally) how they like to play, so they were some of the kids I naturally gravitated toward.

It’s very comfortable to be around all of these kids.

I remembered something really important as I played and talked with the kids at the church.

These children may have tiny smiles, but they have big hearts.

They just love.

They want to play, they want to talk, they want to have lots of hugs and have their picture taken…

Sharing love and joy is easy for them (usually).

It’s also something that is too easy for us to take for granted.

What have we lost that keeps us from loving like this? What’s holding us back?

This is, to some degree, what Jesus was teaching when He said, “Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 18:4). Children tend to not be hindered by pride in the same way we grown-ups are. They’re free to love; free to be vulnerable. Free to share their joy.

Who wouldn’t want to be like that?

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  • Dana

    Such precious smiles and such precious children. I think I’d be drawn to the babies, too, as I have a niece who is just 5 months old. Sounds like a wonderful day!

    • http://hardwords.wordpress.com Aaron Armstrong

      It was a pretty great day; the days since have been pretty unreal. So much going on (as you have seen from all the posts) but definitely a great experience