Maybe the reason that I could not fit all of Day 4 on one blog page, is that the Special Needs Center at San Martin is SO near and dear to my heart, and I just could not slight it. Maybe it was because there were so many fabulous pictures of old friends, and I just could not narrow it down to a few to share with you! Whatever the reason, here is Part 2 of Day 4. . .
The Special Needs Center at San Martin is a difficult place. There are well over 100 residents, and most of them are mentally handicapped. A few are children, but it’s mostly adults that live at this center. There are some (probably about half) that never get to leave the little cabins that they live in, because either are not abhle, or they would cause themselves or others harm. Some have to be restrained to their chairs to keep them from hurting themselves. When you tour those areas, it is a very emotional experience. It’s hard to understand why some people have to live with the constant torture that their minds have them in. Sometimes you pray over them, sometimes I have sang to them sometimes all you can do is cry, and know that God understands every tear.
Please pray for peace for these people who have such a hard time. The staff at this facility are no doubt overworked and underpaid, because the government could never pay them what it is worth to do what they do, so please keep them in your prayers as well. San Martin is not all sad. . . .
The other half of the population at San Martin are some of the happiest people on earth! They probably don’t realize that the rest of the world lives like many of us do. This is their world, and they just want to be loved and shown attention. Most of these people have been marginalized by society. Society has no better place for them, they are “thrown away”, and most of the world doesn’t know or care that they exist. These people make the most of their situation. It is amazing to watch them care for one another, and you will notice that some have taken on parental roles, and some are ,more reserved than others, but they all have one thing in common, they want to feel loved!
This is the easiest place in the world to show love! If you give them a hug, for some of them, it’s like you have just handed them a million dollars! If you show concern for them, they will soak it up like someone who has been stranded in the dessert for days, would soak up water. We offer them band-aids when we go. A few of them will have boo-boos, but it doesn’t matter, they just want someone to show concern for them, and they LOVE their band-aids. So if you see pictures below with band-aids on their faces, they probably didn’t have sores, it’s just our way of trying to make up for times when they did have hurts, and no one cared.
One of the favorite things these precious friends of ours like to do is dance. They are REALLY good dancers, too! There is one guy that they call Michael Jackson, because he dances just like him! They also like to play “air guitar”. They also LOVE to get their pictures made. I copied some old pictures from he past 6 years of people that are always there, and sent with the team, and those seemed to be a hit! They usually want team members in the pictures with them.
|He’s showing her the miricle God provided him!
|They love a great manicure!
We have been blessed to be used by God to do many things at San Martin over the past 6 years. We have built a fence, bought washers and dryers, underwear, personal products, adult diapers, we have been wittness to the complete healing of a man who we were told by doctors, would die. We have been blessed to provide clothes, shoes, Christmas parties, field trips to the beach, beds, pillows, mattresses, and the list goes on! We have seen God’s provision for these people, first hand!
We try to explain what it is like on our mission trips, but you can not put it into words. The pain and the joy come in waves and sometimes even overlap. You really just have to experience it for yourself to understand! It is like precious gold, and that’s why people keep coming back!
We may not be able to save all the needy children in this world, but God didn’t ask us to. He did say “visit”, in James 1:27
27Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.