Amigos de Jesus Remembers

        It is easy to be forgotten in Honduras.  Children come to Amigos de Jesus because they have been neglected, abandoned, rejected and left to survive on their own.  Our Oscarito was left alone to fend for himself when he could barely hold himself up or feed himself.  Others of our children have been abused in unimaginable ways while adults turn a blind eye to torture, incest, rape, starvation, and slavery.  Many of our children are born to children who never had a childhood.  Still more have wandered the streets, struggled to escape abuse, begged for food, or had their families torn apart by violence.  To be alive after what has happened to them is an accomplishment.  The fact that our children live life with a smile on their faces is an inspiration.  Someone once told Fr. O’Donnell that even more than their smiles is the brightness of their eyes – both their smiles and their eyes make them impossible to forget. 
       Yet our children do even more than smile.  They give.  They serve.  They share love, they offer prayers, and they actively seek to make the world a more humane and beautiful place.  Our children who our world almost forgot will never forget the people of our world.  

Six months ago the Lord decided that Oscarito had left enough of an impact to be remembered by and that 48 days of us pouring love into him was long enough; so our sweet angel was called to heaven where he watches over us.  If Oscarito had not found a home and a family at Amigos de Jesus, he would have died alone and been buried in an unmarked and forgotten grave.  Instead, we are building him a cemetery up on the hill behind the big white cross at Amigos de Jesus.  In the meantime his tiny body is resting at an overgrown, trash-ridden cemetery in the nearby community of Macuelizo.

        Oscarito’s grave is one of several bright spots in the otherwise bleak cemetery.  His dignified grave bears the marks of love of a large family, and the special touches of the 19-year-old who cared for him.  David comes home to Amigos twice a month from the city where he is in University.  He keeps Oscarito’s plot immaculately maintained, free from litter and brush and surrounded by plants and flowers.
       Our children know that Oscarito could have ended up in a forgotten, neglected grave.  They know that if it were not for Amigos de Jesus, they would have been neglected and forgotten too.  So they decided to do something to show that not only is Oscarito alive in the hearts of our family, but that they also have room in their giant hearts to remember others. 

Six months from the day we buried Oscarito the Amigos de Jesus family honored our angel by remembering people who have been forgotten.  Our oldest young men spent 5 hours hacking away at overgrown tropical brush, picking up garbage, cleaning off graves, and beautifying parts of the cemetery.

  Our girls spent a week collecting plastic bottles to turn into flowers and wreaths that they  painstakingly painted and arranged to put on graves.  The same garbage that had littered the cemetery was transformed into a beautiful symbol of love from our children. 
       We spent the entire afternoon of the six-month anniversary of Oscarito’s burial at the cemetery.  We admired the work of the older boys, we decorated graves with lovingly placed flowers, we walked together, told stories of people we have lost, and stayed close to each other.

At the end of our time at the cemetery David led prayer circle around Oscarito’s grave and we prayed to Oscarito and for the people buried in the cemetery, for the people our children have lost, and for the Amigos de Jesus family around the world.  Our children remembered.  Our children remember.
     There are so many people who make up our Amigos de Jesus family.  Our children do not forget you.  To all of you everywhere on behalf of Oscarito and our children, THANK YOU for their bright eyes, THANK    YOU for their smiles, THANK YOU for remembering. 

- Amy Escoto - Operations Director

If you would like to see more pictures from the day, please check them out on our Facebook page