A wonderful experience!
Our volunteers had a fantastic time at NPH Mexico and Honduras
March 19, 2017 - New Zealand
When you visit an NPH home, if you don’t speak the lingo, you may initially become frustrated. However, over time you soon learn to communicate in a different way, using a language of humanity, also known as ‘love.’ A simple smile, laughter between 2 strangers, holding hands or a warm hug can make a real difference in the life of a child.
On our recent volunteer trip to NPH Mexico and Honduras, our volunteers experienced this wonderful language of ‘love’.
Volunteer Natasha Sutcliffe says:
"I am very grateful for the opportunity we had to visit NPH Mexico and NPH Honduras. We felt immediately welcomed, receiving warm smiles and greetings everywhere we went. The children often ran up to hold our hands and give us a hug; which quickly broke down any cultural barriers and allowed us to connect and communicate with the children."
For many of our volunteers it was a very special moment to meet their Godchildren.
Linda Yan says, "I was very fortunate to be able make this trip to meet my sponsored Godchild and her two sisters in Honduras. It was a very moving experience to actually see and hug them. I felt overwhelmed by emotions I have not felt for a long time, as I too was an orphan. If you get a chance to visit or sponsor a child, you will be a better person from your experience of giving, sharing and loving."
Over the course of two weeks our Kiwi volunteers got 'stuck in' and helped out with painting the school, planting trees and even making goat feeding stations! The most important part of the trip was spending time with the kids, and seeing that in spite of all they have been through, they are very happy at NPH.
NPH New Zealand's Director, Loren O'Sullivan, made a point of asking the children whether they liked NPH. She was very pleased to hear the kids speak so positively about their NPH family. “I love it here… I have everything I need here… I am able to study and have a future…” She was both touched and humbled that the children were so appreciative of the basics in life, things that she often takes for granted.
Hearing the stories of the kids help remind Loren why it's so important to support NPH. Miguel Venegas, Executive Director of NPH International and a former pequeño, shared his story with Loren.
When Miguel was just 8 years old, his mother died leaving his father to look after 6 children. Miguel’s eldest sister became his surrogate mother until she too passed away a few years later. Stricken with grief and living in extreme poverty, Miguel’s father became an alcoholic, making life even harder for Miguel and his siblings. Miguel remembers a difficult childhood, working long days in dirty and dangerous jobs, and even stealing food to get by.
When Loren asked Miguel how life would have been if he hadn't come to NPH, he simply says, “I wouldn’t be alive today or I’d be in prison.”
Coming to NPH at 15 years old, Miguel was astounded by the great level of care and opportunities that NPH provided him. He made a decision to make the most of his education, working hard to complete his university studies in the United States, thanks to NPH.
Enjoying a comfortable corporate career at American Express, Miguel was unsure of what to do when Father Wasson called him back to help at NPH Guatemala. This was a difficult decision for Miguel until he thought about who he wanted to have at his funeral. "The answer was easy… I wanted my NPH family to be there.” Many years later, with a MBA from a world-leading university, Miguel is now the head of NPH International, serving his younger brothers and sisters.
Loren found Miguel’s story both inspiring and saddening. Inspiring to see someone dedicate their life to helping others in need, yet saddening to think of the many children around the world who share in Miguel’s experiences of having such a difficult childhood.