Senior, Crean Lutheran High School
This morning we visited a special needs center for adults. As we got off the bus it was evident this center was well-cared for. The grounds were well kept and the walls of the houses were painted with a pretty baby blue. We were given a tour of the grounds and caught a glimpse of life inside the center. The classrooms were bright and cheerful just like the students. We then made our way to the field where we participated in face painting, playing pass with a basketball, and having an epic dance party. Lilly showed off her DJ skills and we danced to the Macarena, cha-cha slide, "What does the fox say," and other great dance songs. The morning was filled with joyous laughter and smiles as we danced and sang along with the wonderful people from San Martin.
While photographing the event I was able to see the many awesome things that transpired throughout the morning through my camera lens. It made me smile when I filmed Jake dancing with an older woman. I'm sure he made her day. I was literally in tears of laughter as I witnessed Coach Anderlik and Orsy dancing to the Macarena.
The moment when Jenni asked me to take a photo of her and Amanda with a young girl they'd been looking for (at another center) earlier on the trip brought goose bumps to my arms. They had met this girl on a previous trip and had told us her story of trauma. They were so happy to see her and it was obvious that God had his hand over the situation. The girl beamed with joy as they danced, held her and spent time just laughing together. I was so thankful that God's blessings and protection were over her and she had a great new home at San Martin. The pure innocence and joy that radiated from these people was just so inspiring and heart-warming. There were some great dancers amongst the special needs adults, especially the man who stood in front the speakers and shook his hips even better than Shakira.
After dancing, we passed out juice boxes and cookies and they were well received. Even though communicating with them verbally was hard because of their situations, the love and gratitude was not lost. As I watched today's events unfold, I was hit with the realization that I was truly the happiest I have ever been serving the Lord as we did today. God had intended for me and my team members to be here this week. Although we have experienced some heart breaking moments and heard many stories of trauma, this morning reminded me that no matter what we face in the future we can truly find the utmost happiness when we're serving the Lord and lifting up his name.