Some are there because they have no parents. Some are there because they were living in horrible circumstances that children should never experience. Some are there because their parents can not afford to provide the basic necessities of life. Some had been there all their life. Some remember what life was like outside those gates.

We were fortunate enough to be invited into their world, an exclusive invitation only sent out twice a year, for a one week duration. We accepted, not knowing what to expect. We accepted thinking we were the ones helping out. We accepted believing we were going to teach them. We accepted assuming the language barrier would impede the the learning.

They were waiting for us when we arrived. They welcomed us into their home. They took us on a tour of the school, living areas, dining hall, kitchen, clinic, and farm. They showed us how a few adults can create a loving family with almost 700 children. They demonstrated how they were almost entirely self-sufficient with their food supply. They integrated us into their daily life like we were family.

They opened our eyes to the fact that you don’t need to speak the same language to understand. They showed us that family is who you welcome into your heart. They showed us there is hope in places you might not expect. They showed us how to work together toward a common goal. They showed us you can have nothing, yet have everything.

They made a permanent imprint on my heart. I am forever grateful to that orphanage in Mexico that extended  a simple invitation.