Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to all you dads out there!
Dad, thank you for being you and always looking out for your little girl.  Thank you for calling me "Puddin'".  Thank you for working hard to raise your family.  Thank you for teaching me to put my all into the things I love.  And, thank you for loving me the way only you could!
In light of Father's Day I'd love to share with you about the three men pictured below and a few others who work for us here at the center.
 From left to right, pictured above is Joao, Joshua, and Arlindo.  The three of them make up one team of educators.  In the Baby House, Bercario (nursery), Laura's dorm (the youngest boys dorm), and the girls' area, we have tias.  This is what we call the amazing women who work 4 days on and 4 days off to care for our children.  You can read more about them here.  Educators are the male form of tias.  They also work 4 days and and 4 days off, sleep and eat with, and look after all the older boys who live on the center.
I will admit that I haven't worked very hard to get to know the educators in my almost 2 years here.  They are hard to crack.  I haven't had the time or really the need to break through and get to know them.  But the longer I'm here, the more I have learned to appreciate them and therefore get to know them.  They are all funny, constantly have a joke to share, and seem to have an opinion about almost everything.  They love to just sit and chat about anything and everything.
But most importantly, I have learned to respect them.  Just like our tias, the educators also have their own families.  Every 4 days they leave them to come spend 4 days looking after 30ish boys.  They do have the help of a missionary or 2 depending on which dorm they are in charge of.  Also, each room of boys has a chefe, or older youth, who helps look after the boys.  But the educators are the main contact.  Somehow they are expected to keep track of and care for 30ish boys all day and night.  It's a big job, and they do it with joy.
They are the imagine of dads here on the center.  They show tough love on a daily basis.  They pick boys up when they have fallen and hurt themselves, brush off their skinned knees, and put them back to playing.  They jump in the middle of soccer or basketball games and play along.  They sort out clothing and make sure everyone eats their dinner.  They stop this one from hitting this one, while they comfort another who is crying because he didn't do well on his math test.  When you are raising close to 200 boys, a dad is important.  And although our "dads" are not constantly with their children, they do the best they can.  They are loving and raising up these boys to know God, to know how to care for themselves, and to know who loves them.
I personally am thankful for them, their constant work, and their heart!
  May God bless them abundantly!

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