From the Field

Best Friends

Azucena (left) and Katherine (right) are best friends at Misioneros del Camino.
Azucena (left) and Katherine (right) are best friends at Misioneros del Camino.

When we dropped in on the children eating lunch at the Misioneros del Camino orphanage in Guatemala, we captured a precious moment: a 1-and-half year old in a highchair reaching for the hand of the child in the highchair beside her.

The child on the left is Azucena, a girl who was brought to the home after her mother disappeared. The other is Katherine, a child with a rare genetic disorder called Hunter syndrome. Though Katherine looked about the same size as Azucena, she was actually 4 years old.

Katherine’s disability, which included being born with her vertebrae fused together, had been intensified by severe neglect. At Misioneros del Camino, which receives nutritional support from Cross Catholic Outreach, she is getting lots of love…especially from her best friend, Azucena. We were told that the girls are their own best therapy. And from the look of it, they certainly seemed inseparable. The smiling Azucena just kept reaching for Katherine, while Katherine, who had previously appeared morose, now glowed with delight at the attention.

It’s the little moments such as this that reveal the true health of a program. Children are mirror images of what is really going on behind closed doors. When you see joy, kindness and contentment in the faces of children rescued from situations of terrible brokenness, you know they have found a good home.

Christ is present at Misioneros Del Camino, and every touch, every hug, every twinkling eye radiates his mercy.

-Tony M.