By Tod Bush
The Red Dot team returned home from Peru with our hearts touched by the precious children we encountered in Cusco.
We were able to serve the children and staff at the two orphanages (Buen Pastor, for girls and Jesus mi Luz, for boys). The men on our team completed the work on the new tile floors in the girls’ dorm rooms and it was superb! And the rest of the team guided the girls and boys through recreation, science experiments, crafts and Bible stories.
Red Dot has been given a wonderful opportunity to provide a transitional home for the oldest girls who have aged out of the Buen Pastor orphanage and have no other place to live as they pursue degrees at the local university. These girls have all come out of dark family situations. But through the love of the nuns and their friends in their current home, their strength of character, and the grace of God, these five young ladies (Karen, Vaneza, Ursula, Fabiola and Ana Lucia) have overcome these hardships and are ready to obtain a college education and then begin a professional career.
The girls will live in this new home with a house parent and will have a tutor to help with homework and a social worker to assist them with family issues. The lease was signed on the third day of our trip so we were able to take these five young ladies to visit their new home for the first time.
As our bus pulled up to their new house, they squealed with excitement. The team and the girls explored each room, toasted their future and danced with them to celebrate their new beginning.
At the end of the hour, each girl told us how much they appreciated what our team had done for them. I shared with the girls and the staff that our friendship and love for them began when our first group of men from Red Dot visited Buen Pastor in December of 2006.
After that trip, our team knew that God was calling us to “adopt” this home and help them however Red Dot could. That was why our July 2007 team spent a week serving and loving them last year. That is why we returned this year to do the same. And that is why Red Dot is now providing a home for the oldest girls at Buen Pastor to move into as they transition into adulthood. I also told the girls that while we appreciated the thanks they were giving us that day; every employee at Red Dot contributes to our success and thus plays an important part in helping impact their lives with this new home, whether or not they visited here yet. The girls were told that Red Dot loves all who live in the Buen Pastor home and in this transitional home and that our company believes their future is indeed bright. As our time ended, we were moved by the joy and the excitement in the girls' eyes.
The next day, our team hosted a carnival at the Jesus Mi Luz boys’ orphanage. We brought the Buen Pastor girls over so we were able to party with all the boys and girls we had grown to love that week. The carnival had hot dogs, cotton candy, popcorn, candy apples and ice cream for all the kids to enjoy. We had pie and sponge throwing booths, ring toss and kush ball throwing booths, bean bag, putt putt and face painting booths and a fun photo booth for the kids to dress up in crazy costumes. Claudia, the great Buckner Peru director, was also able to find an incredibly large inflatable double slide that all the kids and our team enjoyed using.
The carnival ended with us dancing with the children until dark as we celebrated the friendships that were formed with them that week. As our team left the home that night, many of us boarded the bus with tears in our eyes knowing we will not see many of these children again. But we also left Peru with our hearts excited by the fact that we loved and served these boys and girls well as we taught them by our words and deeds that they are incredibly special in our eyes and, more importantly, in the eyes of their Creator.
The members of our Peru team could not have represented themselves or this company any better and I am very proud of them.
Tod Bush is the director of the Red Dot 100x Fund, a humanitarian outreach program established by Red Dot Construction in Athens, Texas. He traveled with a team from Red Dot to Cusco, Peru in July.
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