update from Ashley Baer in Peru

Below is the latest update from Ashley Baer, a young lady from CCC who is serving at an orphanage in Peru for one year.

What time is it? ¿Que hora es? An easy question, right? Just look at your watch and tell me. But it’s not that easy for the kids that live at Hogar de Esperanza. Most of the kids that come to live at Hogar have never been to school so reading a clock face is not an easy task for them. In my tutoring time with Consuelo, Paúl, and Alejandra, we are learning to tell time. We meet Monday through Friday – they learn and I learn. They learn about math, and reading, and time, and I learn about kindness, patience, empathy, and how to be gentle to those who know so little of kindness in their lives.

In this photo some of the kids are showing off their new books. Hogar de Esperanza does not let people donate money for the support of their volunteers which meant I was unable to use the money that I had raised for support. After praying and consulting with Pastor Craig at Christ Community Church, we decided it would be a good use of the money to allow the children’s home to use it for their school books which they had previously been unable to afford. What a blessing!

For my birthday I was able to travel with a friend to a town 8 hours away. We took the overnight bus and woke up in Huaraz, Peru. On the second day we went trekking in the Cordillera Blanca. We were at 4,900 meters above sea level and trekked 16k. In the last quarter of the trek people started dropping off – not wanting to go on. It reminded me of how sometimes the things that are the hardest to accomplish are the most worthwhile.

I saw that lesson visually in the mountain and when I came home I saw that in a child. The day I came home from the mountains I had an 8-hour house covering. These can be challenging with ten girls under twelve to watch. Alejandra (whom I’ve gotten pretty close to) had been having a rough day with one of the other girls and finally she started crying – but her crying wouldn’t stop. At first she refused my comfort and I gave her some space. But then I thought better of it. I went back to her room, dragged her into my arms and held her like a mother holds a baby. I sang to her all the songs I remembered from Sunday school. She didn’t stop crying but I persisted. About 20 minutes in she started to sniffle and I knew the worst was behind us. Finally, she looked up at me with her big brown eyes for a moment of time, and then she rose, took my hand and said we could go watch TV with the other girls. We sat side by side.