Pijamada! (Sleepover!)

Last Saturday, I was invited to a Quinceanera (The birthday party girls have when they turn 15) by one of the women who works at the orphanage.  Tia Anita has worked with Casa de Amor for over 5 years, and has become like a mother to the girls that she works with (and often to me!). The oldest girls got to spend Friday night with Tia Anita to help prepare for the party a day in advance and they were thrilled!
On Saturday morning I went to the girls house and found “B” dutifully washing her clothes. At seven years old she falls right in between the older girls and the little girls. Although she is very smart and capable for her age, her desire for attention often leads her to behave in a way that puts her in the “little girl” group.
As soon as she heard me talking with the other Tia on duty about the Quineanera, she lit up and asked if she could come with me. Usually the girls earn outings with good behavior, and sadly, “B” normally doesn’t earn an outing. I told B that I would have to ask the administrator for permission because she has been perpetually punished for the last few weeks. I called to ask for permission, and was surprised when I was told to talk with the tia in charge, but that it was fine with her!
B was ecstatic when we told her she could come and started running back and forth from her room to the kitchen to tell us what she was going to wear. That night as I was getting ready to pick her up, I got a phone call from the orphanage “just making sure” that I hadn’t forgotten about B.  I assured her I would be there in 30 minutes.
When another volunteer, Hannah, and I got to the house, B was dressed in her nicest dress, and arctic coat, and beaming. I really don’t think I have ever seen her so excited since I met her almost three years ago. She did very well at the Quinceanera, and even got to be one of the damitas ( kind of like a bridesmaid).
All of the damitas! B is the second in line.

B, Tia Benita, Tia Sarin, and I

B is in the purple arctic coat - it might not seem that big, but it was 70 degrees.
Because the party ended very late, B got to spend the night at my house after. As we walked into the house at 11:30, she asked if she could watch TV before bed. That was an easy answer – because I don’t have a TV. I got her bed ready for her, turned around to get her pajamas, and she was already asleep.
The next morning was Sunday so we got up early and went to church. The young people group at my church was having a special lunch, and so I had told B I could take her home, or if she wanted to come with me she would need to help and be on her best behavior.  She of course wanted to come. She was thrilled to get to “help” with the tasks we found for her and helped assemble tables (backwards), place table decorations on the tables (upside down), and rinse dishes (maybe 3 of them). It reminded me of the way God has invited us to join in what He is doing, even though we often make things harder than they have to be.
One of my favorite things about the time with B was seeing the way she thrived with attention. People from my church really took time to ask her questions. To entertain her, to look at the pictures from the Quinceanera on my phone over and over again and to give her the attention she seeks so desperately in all the wrong ways. I am thankful for the community at the church that the Lord has provided – not only for me – but also for the children that I have the privilege of working with.
Please pray for B ( I can send you her real name if you want, I just can’t post it online!). Please pray for the Lord to soften her heart. For B to come to know the Lord, and to know the love of her Father. Please also pray for the staff and volunteers at the orphanage, that we would have wisdom in working with her, and the rest of the children. Lastly, please praise God for the work that He has done.  He has promised in John 14:18, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”  Praise Him, for He who promised is faithful!


  1. I love this girl so much. I remember her from my very first trip! She has grown up so much since then and is so beautiful. I'm so glad you got to spend some special one-on-one time with her, take her to a party and to church! Love you Danyelle!


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