Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos

In my last blog, I described the packing of suitcases for the annual NPH El Salvador mission trip. What is NPH you ask? Well, here is the Sparknotes/Cliffnotes version of what NPH is all about...

Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (NPH) means "Our Little Brothers and Sisters" in Spanish. It is an organization that was founded by Father William Wasson. In 1954, a young boy was arrested for stealing from a church in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico. Instead of charging the boy, the pastor, Fr. Wasson, asked for custody of the boy. By the end of that year, 32 boys were being cared for by Fr. Wasson. This was the first NPH house.

In addition to NPH Mexico, there are now 8 more houses in Bolivia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Peru. Since 1954, NPH has cared for almost 16,000 orphaned and abandoned children. Most of the children fit the standard definition of an orphan; however, some of the children are considered "economic orphans." This means that they still have family members, but the family is unable to provide or care for the child. The child then ends up on the streets.

Once at NPH, the children are raised by the five principles of love, security, sharing, work, and responsibility. While there, the children know that they will never be forced to leave or adopted. In essence, the children and caretakers of NPH become one big family. They are provided with an excellent education and medical care, as well as spiritual guidance. Fr. Wasson said, "An education will take my children out of the poverty into which they were born." At NPH, the cycle of poverty is broken. For more information about NPH, visit their website here.

NPH El Salvador taught me a lot when I visited last summer. I cannot even begin to describe to you how excited I am that get to go back. It's a privilege to be able to go "home" again. I love those kids so much! Even though I hate planes, every mile I have to travel is worth it.

Since I will be gone from June 4-9, there will be no new posts. So my advice to you is read a book, watch a good movie, or go play outside. I'll be back!

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