One Million Arrows Christian Parenting Blog

Posted in: Arrow Families

Lessons from Charlie
Guest Author: Alex Waits
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Waits familyAlex and Laura Waits are headed to Lempira, Honduras, this summer to live out the mission with their children while living and working among the Miskito Indian people. Here is a recent post from Alex about how the boys of Lempira are grabbing hold of his heart.

Our first visit to Mama Tara's Miskito Orphanage was in November of 2009. Only four months later, in March of 2010, we found ourselves back in Puerto Lempira in preparation for a long-term move to the area.

Our second visit to Mama Tara's was as delightful as the first with the opportunity to spend time with the children, deliver medicine, visit with Mama Tara and accomplish some of the items on the orphanage's maintenance work list.

I vividly remember our walk [to the orphanage]. My wife, Laura, and I were as excited as two children on Christmas morning. Would the children at Mama Tara's remember us from our November trip? Had the children grown and flourished since we last saw them? Would there be a place for us to serve at Mama Tara's when we moved to Puerto Lempira? The questions spun around in our minds.

There is one boy that is always on my mind when I think about Mama Tara's...Charlie. The first time I met Charlie, he wanted my non-stop attention. We played soccer for an eternity. He was also my personal guide for a tour of Mama Tara's.

Alex and CharlieI remember being a bit nervous as I walked up to Charlie in March of this year, wondering if he would remember me. When he got a good look at my face and I mentioned my sombrero (hat) from our previous visit, he lit up and knew exactly who I was! I was relieved and thankful that our friendship could continue to grow. Charlie's smile and acceptance of me are exactly what he and the other children at Mama Tara's need to be shown from Christians. If Charlie's smile and friendship can make such a deep impact on this 40-something year-old man in a moment of uncertainty, I can only imagine what a smiling and compassionate face means to a fatherless child. I want Charlie and the other boys to play, run, and worship God side-by-side with our own children.

One day I worked on bike repair at another home for children in Puerto Lempira when I felt a tap on my back. I turned around and there stood Charlie. I was so surprised to see him. Charlie could have decided to play with the other children, but, instead, he chose to come over to see if I needed any help. This is love expressed by a child who doesn't have a lot of earthly possessions. This is concern shown by a child whose future is uncertain. Love and concern; these are the traits that God wants us to share with the world.

Another day, I worked by myself on maintenance items at Mama Tara's. As the day progressed, the boys began to follow me around, watching what I was doing. At times, I asked them for an extra pair of hands to hold something or retrieve an item I left on the other side of the room.  Then they began to ask to touch and use the drills, saw and hammer. I tried to use this opportunity to teach them how the tools worked and how to use tools safely. Then it dawned on me, these boys don't have many male influences in their lives. They crave interaction with men.

Spending time with these boys, playing with them, showing them how to use tools, teaching them the basics of being a man of God...what a privilege and what a joy! If you are reading this, I urge you to invest in the lives of these kinds of young people ... for a day, a week, a month or longer. The rewards are eternal for all parties.

This article adapted from "Lessons from Charlie," by Alex Waits. You can read the full article on the Wait's ministry website, Reach Out Honduras. Read more about the Waits and their upcoming adventure to Honduras on their family website, The World is our Classroom


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