meet more locals and become friends and neighbors.
I had not planned on going this time but the Lord had other plans for me. And I am SO GLAD I did not stay home. It would have meant missing out on one of my dearest experiences of what 'community' can look like as it did in chapter 2 of the book of Acts. We had two friends from our church join us this time. Don and Christopher came with such enthusiasm to tile and help with the plumbing as we are trying to add more bathrooms and remodel the casitas to create more of a flow for families that will join us in the future.
They jumped right in and did not hesitate to get to know locals around the neighborhood. They re-tiled our kitchen floor which I can't wait to see in October. Will and I had to shorten our trip this time so it will be much like opening a Christmas present when we return.
The highlight of our trip came when we invited our dear friends Tita and Monica (her assistant) to join us for the weekend. Tita is a Christian who opened a school for the children living in the slum of La Limonada. It took great courage and faith to build a school in the middle of a place known for gang warfare. Today, this school has about 200 kids in attendance and it's continuing to expand.
Two of the people Tita brought to us were from La Limonada. Their names are very symbolic of what we desire Opal House to represent. One was a 20 year old young lady who is four months pregnant. Her father drank himself to death, then her mother followed with a drinking binge and was found dead on the beach. This young lady is named "Merci". The other was a baby whose mother has 7 other kids and is so depressed she was neglecting her youngest and just leaving her there in the room all alone. She hadn't had a bath more than twice in 2 months. This tiny baby is named "Grace". So "Grace" and "Mercy" were our first to find refuge at Opal House! This is how God works.....completely amazing.
So Saturday night our house was full! People talking, eating, laughing, working, even crying at times. Our hearts were just as full as our home. And I was happy. It was as if God said "Diane, you wanted a vision of what I have planned for Opal House, well here it is!" And that's enough for me. We may not have all the details but we know it will be built on love. We pray that it will be the heartbeat of God.
This may be the reason it was not as easy to return to Seattle this time. I've left part of my heart there.......