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“Mamma”

That is what I was called several times today at the orphanage for babies and each time it broke my heart.
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I’m in Lima, Peru this week with Shoes for Orphan Souls. During our spring pledge drive, everyone who pledged $30 a month also donated a pair of shoes for orphans in Peru. This week I am delivering them with a team and putting them on the kid’s feet! Thank you for helping to provide thousands of shoes for these kids.

Every day we go to two orphanages with at least 100 kids in each! This morning we went to a state orphanage that takes care of children that are 0-5 years old. We view these shoes as a help and encouragement to the children, but even more they are tickets into these state run orphanages. They allow us to come in and share Jesus with the children because they need the new shoes for them!

I spent time first with the older boys who were 5. The boys were so excited to have new shoes! They were reluctant to play with us or talk to us, but once they found out that they were getting new shoes they were all smiles!

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One of the boys ended up with shoes that lit up and he would not stop stomping his feet and giggling. He just HAD to show all the other boys and make them jealous.

One of the translators on the trip shared that this little boy was from Spain. His mother was arrested for smuggling drugs and is in prison so he ended up in the custody of the government. He was so young and I know that it must be hard for him to be without a family.

The state orphanages that we visited were very different from the privately owned Christian orphanages. The government facilities were very nice and clean, but they were not filled with love. The government provided for all the children’s physical needs, food, clothing, beds, and even toys. However, they do not provide what their souls need, a very loving environment for them to grow up in. We came in to give shoes but more importantly hugs, love, and Jesus.

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I ended up playing with a pair of twin boys that were 1 year old. We threw balls and they laughed and laughed! Their sweet laughter was contagious and before we knew it our whole team was giggling at them. We even got to take them to lunch and help feed them. As we tried to leave the little twin boys reached for us and hugged us tightly. It was hard to see these sweet ones without a family to love on them.

It was insanely hard to leave that place knowing that the babies and young kids had to stay. My prayer is that every time they look down at the new shoes that you provided, they will know that they are loved!

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