We recently revised our mission statement to read: “The Amigos de Jesús family is a sanctuary of hope, healing and transformation in service to vulnerable children.” I love this re-imagining of the mission that so deeply captures what Amigos de Jesus has always been and has always done. Each word was considered and chosen with prayerfulness, with love, and with intention. And when the mission statement finally came together everyone just knew it was us- all of us.
Each different word is worthy of its own essay. For me this mission statement invites me to do what many in our Christian tradition feel called to do with the Lord’s Prayer- pray it word for word and sit with the meaning and depth of every phrase.
Today I am reflecting on the word transformation, and what it means to me as I journey with our children, staff and volunteers in Honduras.
- I think of Johnny,* a 10-year-old boy who has been with us just for a few months after many years fending for himself on the street. After I accompanied him through a toddler-style meltdown involving biting, cursing and so much anger and fear he has let me into his transformation. “Madrina, I am behaving better.” “Madrina, I got mad today but didn’t hurt anyone.” “Madrina, I did my chores.” “Madrina, my padrinos say I’m behaving well.” These are small steps but they are life changing. Transformative.
- I think of Raquel,* a staff member who loves our children fiercely but is afraid to open up. As she watches the kids learn to trust and be transformed, she, too is learning the important skill of asking for help and being vulnerable. She is transforming.
- I think of Maribel,* a teenage girl who has been through so much in her lifetime, the least of which is severe malnutrition. She shares with pride that her cheeks are filling out and her little-girl-sized pants are getting too tight. She knows that there are people here who will celebrate these victories with her. Who delight in watching her transformation.
No one is immune to the transformation that takes place at Amigos de Jesús and it is such a privilege to find myself transformed as I grow in relationship with each member of our large, beautiful family. Gracias, Señor.
*Names changed to protect privacy
- Amy Escoto, In-Country Co-Director of Operations