“We are all wounded and we all have a need; I have a need. In my broken, needy state, I am seen and known and loved. ”- Jennifer Gunn , Adoptive mother from Colombia and Kids Camp volunteer
One of the greatest daily remembrances for me throughout this stage of my life is that my heavenly Father sees me. He cares deeply for my heart in the midst of the chaos, frustrations, unmet expectations of life, the monotony of laundry, brokenness in relationships, and never-ending homework or skinned knees. This daily-ness of life, as well as the rejections and deep wounds of the heart, including betrayal and silence, make way for I have been pursued to the ends of the earth by a loving Father.
For me, being a part of the Colombia kids camp meant that I would have a small window of opportunity to love and see some of the most precious kids in the world who long, just like me, to be seen. It was an open invitation to step into what God is already doing in the hearts of these vulnerable kids. I couldn’t NOT show up and see these precious souls, see the laughter, and see the smiles. Together with friends, we brought fun crafts, a hot meal, and celebrated freedom by recreating Fourth of July festivities. I desired to show up and hug and play with and love these dear ones. You see, the country of Colombia is dear to my heart because we adopted our 6-year-old son from Colombia in March of 2017. Colombia will always be a part of us. So, I couldn’t not give back.
Watching our precious son, Matias, run, talk to, and throw his whole self into these 16 kids that are without parents broke my heart and, at the same time, showed me that some interactions are without limits and boundaries. There was an unspoken understanding between the kids at camp and our Matias that I couldn’t have predicted. Some things just translate despite the language barrier that now exists, as Matias speaks English. Something supernatural happened: they saw each other and understand one another with their hearts. I will never forget, and Matias certainly has not forgotten.
We returned home only for our precious son to cry out to God on behalf of these kids—that they would soon have a family, too. I hoped that through playing soccer, playing on the playground, talking, hugging, painting fingernails, making bracelets, and painting while celebrating the 4th of July these kids would know that they are seen. I had to hope and dream and advocate for these kids.
Colombia Kids Camp brought a taste of being seen and also served as a reminder to me—I long for more. I long for every one of these kids to know the unchanging, steady love of the Father and a family. It matters. For me to be a part of kids camp meant that I would in some small way say that I see these kids and I will never forget . . . for each one of their hearts and mine. Join me in hoping and remembering!
Learn more about the children who attended our Colombia Kids Camp here.