As I stood watching, I couldn’t help but be blown away by the transformation that I had witnessed in some of the kids. Ones that weren’t even smiling at the beginning of the week were now fully participating with what could only be described as joy. Children from the two different schools who had been warily eyeing each other up at the beginning of the week were excitedly performing together to an audience of a mixed group of people from the opposite sides of the ghetto. The theme of unity that had been central to the camp’s curriculum took on life during that hour and a half. It was incredible to experience it. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one that spent that time praying that the changes, the sense of community, the joy, the laughter, would continue past that day and start a habitual pattern of healing that would break the cycle of division that plagues La Limonada.
To say that the time spent at the camp was important to these kids is an understatement. I watched those small eyes and smiles come alive. I saw the future being written as social barriers were broken down. I witnessed change. I saw hope growing and taking root in small hearts that have known so much hurt and despair. I experienced love abounding and healing hearts and minds in its sheer power. I watched a mere 5 days alter the lives of 107 children. And I’m pretty sure that the angels were rejoicing as much as we were.
“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”– Mother Teresa
Written by Bethany Streng – Lemonade International Partner