The ten Hellenic College students staying at the Hogar Rafael Ayau orphanage in Guatemala City, Guatemala, have sent back a report about their visit. The five men and 5 women have been busy every day, all day, working on various projects around the orphanage, as well as interacting with the children and attending services in the chapel. Leading this group is Fr. Peter Chamberis, Chaplain at Hellenic College and Holy Cross, and his daughter, Alexia Chamberis. Following is the report received from Nicholas Savas, one of the students, on behalf of the ten.
"We landed here in Guatemala very late Saturday night, so we did not have the opportunity to meet many kids. Most of them were in bed already. The Orthros and Liturgy service here the next morning (Sunday) was one of the most beautiful services I have ever seen and heard. The service was chanted by the girls from Hogar Rafael all in Spanish. The service truly sounded like a choir of angels was singing. Words cannot describe it. Sunday was a day of no work here at the orphanage. We had the opportunity to play with the kids all day. We played everything from tag to soccer to spinning them around in circles. That night we played soccer against the girls and they beat us very badly. They are all outstnading players.
Monday was our first day of work here. We split up into 4 different teams. We had 2 people doing lawn care, 4 people pulling weeds, 3 people painting the stairwell to the older girls' rooms, and 3 people painting the outline of bricks in yellow as a precautionary measure at the office and missionary quarters.
Today, (Tuesday) we had an amazing experience with the kids. With the money we raised for the kids we were able to take the younger ones to a petting zoo. These kids never stopped smiling all day. They rode horses, petted sheep, rabbits and pigs, as well as went on a donkey ride. We had lunch at the petting zoo with the kids but we decided to treat them to a little snack which they don't get often. On the way home we stoppedat a fast food place and bought the kids fries and a soda. These kids were so excited to eat something that's so simple to us. They loved every minute of the day.
These kids treat us like we are the first group to ever come through as a mission team. It is unbelievable. We are all keeping our hearts and minds open to learn from the simplicity of life and from the children here at Hogar Rafael Ayau. You hear people talking about how trips with OCF Real Break are life changing. Now I understand what they mean. They truly are."
Real Break is a program sponsored by the Orthodox Christian Fellowship for Orthodox Christian college students to use their school break to work with various Orthodox groups in need in different parts of the world. Students must raise the money individually to pay for the trip. The group will return to Hellenic College on Saturday, March 26.
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