I can’t believe how quickly the last two weeks have gone!
It seems like just yesterday I was meeting my team mates for the first time, and now, here we are having to say goodbye. I feel as of I’m leaving my family, we have all become so close.

Today started earlier than our other days at the children’s home. It was our last day there, and the children were all leaving for school at 6am. The majority of us got up to see them off and get some final hugs from these precious little ones.  Many tears were shed between last night and this morning. These children found their way into our hearts quickly, and have a permanent place there. I can easily say part of me will stay behind in Colombia when we leave tomorrow.

After a wonderful breakfast, we washed dishes one last time in the close-knit dish pit. (Some wonderful memories come from that little room filled with dishes, laughter, and singing) When we finished, the cooks hugged us goodbye, as tears filled their eyes. As I turned to walk away, I saw the tears pour down their cheeks. I suddenly realized- we had not only impacted the children, but the staff at the home as well. In return, they have impacted our lives, and I for one, am forever changed by their lives.

We then loaded all of our luggage and ourselves into the bus and started the drive back to Bogota. It was a long ride, several people felt a bit nauseous, and lots of us tried to sleep, but only got short naps. We also played a game of UNO in the bus with the windows open, and three rows of people playing. That was an interesting adventure :).

When we made it back to Bogota, we had a delicious lunch at Oscar and Monica’s house. After lunch, we had to say goodbye to our faithful translators- Laura and Camila, who were such a vital part of our team for the majority of the trip, but especially at the children’s home. None of us could have survived the past two weeks without these two wonderful ladies! (Well, maybe we could have survived, but it would have been EXTREMELY hard, and not near as much fun or effective!!)  We also sent three of our team members back to the hostel, since two of them were not feeling very well.

The rest of us (Richard, Maxwell, Drew, Sara, Amanda, and myself) went to a very special place- a cancer center. It is a place for families to come and fellowship who have children that are battling cancer. About 20 mins after we arrived, Amanda, Drew, and I went to the hospital to visit some of the children who were there for treatment and couldn’t be at the center for our visit. While at the hospital, we made Wordless Bead bracelets and sang songs with the children. We had a wonderful time with them, and all three of us were blessed by out time with these children.

We got back to our hostel and we rested for awhile, the we all went out for our last dinner together. The food was delicious, as usual, but the fellowship was truly delightful!!

After dinner, as we were waiting for our ride, we all gathered around Nasia, who was not feeling well, to pray for her. What a time of prayer we had praying for our dear sister! It was a testament to how close we have all become in the past two weeks. As we returned to the hostel for the night, the love and care we all have for one another was very evident.

To sum the past two weeks up- I have been challenged in the way I speak to others and my willingness to serve anywhere. I have grown to love this close group of friends as if they were my own flesh and blood siblings. I came to Colombia with a desire to share God’s love and to truly love the people of Colombia. I am leaving tomorrow having received the love of God in ways I didn’t think possible, and I’m leaving part of my heart behind with these wonderful people.

My life has been challenged and changed in small, but significant, ways on this trip. I am looking forward to the next adventure The Lord has for me, and my heart is longing for the next time I can return to Colombia.

Adios one last time from Bogota!

 Kristin

The team plus a few of the staff at the orphanage

The team plus a few of the staff at the orphanage

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Amazing views on the drive back.

Amazing views on the drive back.

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Half of the cancer center staff and kids

Half of the cancer center staff and kids

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