Lurin, Peru:
When we volunteered to help paint at an orphanage we envisioned an old gray building, dorm rooms with cement floors and wooden beds, filth and a diet of predominantly rice. But when we passed through the gates of Casa Hogar Juan Pablo II orphanage in Lurin, Peru (just outside of Lima) we saw quite the contrary.

The orphanage facility, convent, chapel, and grounds (complete with volleyball, basketball and soccer courts) were well kept and beautiful. The diet was well balanced in the basic food groups and quite tasty.

The 65 boys and girls that live at this orphanage are well groomed and very respectful. Dressed in their sweaters and ties they stand quietly in church. When they are not in school they complete their daily chores and homework. However, at 5:00 p.m. you will see the ball courts full of smiling children and hear them laughing and joking. Its not hard to see the joy in their eyes. Frequently, we would have to remind ourselves that we were at an orphanage and that these children actually came from the streets. The orphanage uses the "Boys Town" program and it is not hard to see how affective this approach is.

We originally planned to stay 3-4 days, helping with handy man work, painting, etc. The orphanage was in need of a new coat of paint so Ward and I painted the individual bricks that lined the walls. It was a tedious job. On day four the mass amount of painting and work that remained was obvious so Ward and I decided to extend our stay an extra 3-4 days and continue to paint.

The help we gave to the orphanage was minuscule compared to what the orphanage gave us in return. The staff is very dedicated to the orphanage and their faith in God radiates from their outgoing and vibrant personalities. The hospitality that we were provided was priceless. We're looking forward to returning in a few years to help with their homemaking and woodworking summer courses.


To see more photos from Peru,
click here.