It has been 12 years since I was last here. Although the buildings of Casa Hogar are almost unrecognizable, (new buildings exist where old structures have been torn down) the faces and smiles of these precious children are the same. This home has provided a happy, secure, loving oasis for many who have suffered so much in their short lives.
One familiar face I remember from my last trip is Fernando. Casa Hogar has enabled him to learn and prosper. Fernando was tied to a tree and fed occasionally as a young child, his neighbor alerted the authorities who brought him to Casa Hogar. Twelve years ago he was angry, irritable and wouldn’t engage with others. Today he can’t stop smiling, his laughter fills the courtyard and he thrives on joking around and playing games with others. His transformation is miraculous and I believe a true testament to the love, acceptance and security he feels at Casa Hogar.
It is amazing how, in less than a week, such strong friendships can be made. I am equally amazed by the joy filled hearts of these young children who have endured such hard beginnings. They have so much love to give and the smiles on their faces show how happy they are living at Casa Hogar. They’ve been embraced by a loving family upon their arrival here, which for many is a major contrast from the life they came from.
It will be sad to say goodbye to these new friends we have made and old friends we have reunited with, but what a blessing to know the Lord has provided this wonderful home for them to live.