“Cómo te llamas, cómo te llamas, cómo te llamas.” Whispers the six-year-old as he runs to the door.
“He’s hilarious, “ Dan throws out from the bedroom overhearing the exchange.
Ben Diego ran in five minutes ago looking for snacks to share with his new friends. He slid a chair along the uneven tile, then climbed up on to the counter to reach the saltines on the top shelf.
“Mama I’m making friends.” He yells to me as he grabs a few packs of crackers.
“That’s great babe,” I reply. He had spent the week telling me that each new child he met at the clinic was “not his friend,” because they didn’t speak English. He would play silently on the swings but never make a connection with the children who would come through waiting for their parents to be seen by a doctor.
This was major progress.
“What’s their names?” I ask..
I have been urging Ben to learn the names of every kid he encounters at Siloé. But he always tells me, “I don’t know.”
“I don’t know.” He repeats again.
“Ask them cutie.” I urge.
“How do I say it?” He asks, for the first time showing an interest in attempting Spanish in front of strangers.
“Cómo - te – llamas.” I say slowly.
“Coma, huh?” He questions.
“Cómo te llamas.” I repat.
“Okay, bye mama.” He replies, as he runs out into the night, quickly repeating over and over his new phrase for connection.
Being a wellness center, evenings at the property were often filled with sports or exercise. Wednesdays are Bens favorite because that when we have volleyball. The players are all genders and ages bringing with them full families of spectators. This means plenty of children with whom to run through the darkness with as their parents get in some exercise.
Making connections and getting the community moving. Just two of the things we are working on this week in Mexico.
Missions are for those you serve but also to deepen and serve your relationship with the Lord and community.
On the missions side were making connections, tending to needs and giving physically and monetarily. On the personal side we are learning, and teaching our kids about compassion, strength, and living with less.
Every day is a new lesson for us and a new chance to help someone else.
Just the simple act of Ben learning to ask a child's name in a different language helped him be more courageous, learn a new skill, and also show the kids he plays with Gods love through him.
This moment alone would be enough for the week.
But there was so much more!
Cooking up a huge carne asada meal for the staff for one of the dentists birthday. Dan sanding and painting. Meeting with a fitness trainer to start up free resistance classes for the community. Grace doing some photography for a local magazine that wants to do an article on the clinic. Sorting donations. Giving out donations. Organizing the pharmacy. Did I mention Dan painting - it's endless. Giving tours to donors. Harvesting veggies for donations. Getting the Amazon wish list up and seeing donations starting to arrive. Driving staff to and from home who don't have transportation, oh and the best; Church in Spanish and English.
We also moved off site this week! It's bitter sweet. Our new place is by the beach about eight minutes away from the clinic and it's for sure an upgrade from the last couple weeks. But it was also so easy to be there at the clinic 24/7. It's probably good for us to have some distance so we don't fall back into the non stop working routine and have some down time but there was something very special about living inside those walls.
The new place is nice, but the views are to die for. We are for sure getting that - Sand Everywhere Family - beach loving - water people - side of us fulfilled. Waking up to and coming home to a beach just steps away is dream come true.
You know, we could have saved for many years to go on vacation. That would have been fun, but saving for years to go serve others is very different and so much more fulfilling and life changing. But, we did chose a place by water, and I think that was the smart on our part, its how we're filled up, and you can't pour out to others from an empty cup.
Okay, questions answered... Safety, donations, logistics, emotions, kids, all of it.... ask away on Valentines day or El Día del amor y de la amistad, the day for love and friendship in Spanish.
Join my livestream on my Instagram page Tuesday 9am PST.
Spread some love and friendship by donating to Siloé , you can make tax deductible donations here. We've been working on getting the Amazon Wish List stocked too with all the things the community could need, medication, supplies, (including this little girl who really wants roller skates.) When you add to cart the address will populate in your address book, it's a hidden address with the name "Brendan Mayer" one of the clinic directors. And if you want to donate something else just email me. Volunteer@siloeclinic.org.
See you Tuesday in the live stream.