Published June 13, 2019 by SMBC

By Stephanie Donson

When I was asked to write about my experience here in Peru, I didn't know what to write. What comes to mind first is my experience working with the kids at OSA and the time I've spent bonding with the other youth.

I cannot emphasize enough how much I've enjoyed working with the kids at OSA. I have so much love for them and it truly breaks my heart that I have to say goodbye and leave them. It's incredible to see how something we might not find very interesting is fascinating to the kids and seeing their faces light up is heartwarming. The joy we have brought to these kids....I wish we could continue giving to them for as long as we can.

I may not know anything more than their names and faces but I also know they have so much love in their hearts, and they are very open to receiving love and giving it. Before I even introduced myself to them, they were running up to me and hugging me. After the 2nd day, one of the girls brought bracelets she had made for all of the females in South Main's youth group. Honestly that was incredible to me. This little girl I barely knew, wanted me to know how much she appreciated my presence and did so with the little she had.

My time in Peru so far has changed me in several ways. One of those ways is my perspective. We take so much for granted. Something as small as a song or Play Doh can bring these kids so much happiness. It makes me take a step back and look and count my blessings and find more ways to show my gratitude for what God has given me.

There is one really catchy song that, when played, causes everyone to start to dance and sing along. Before this trip, if I had heard it, I wouldn't have given it much thought, let alone dance to it. But seeing the happiness that overcame the kids when they heard the song this week, makes me appreciate the little things. The way these kids put everything up to God is inspiring. In the song, there is a line that says, "Jesus, mi Dios, mi Corazon y mi feliz." This translates to "Jesus, my God, my heart and happiness." For these people, that is truly the case.

I definitely hope to work with OSA in the future and would recommend this mission trip or any mission trip to anyone because it is an amazing experience.