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The irony of “felicidad”

Western territory officer visits the missionary field in Mexico.

by Rhonda Lloyd, Major –

Homes in Felicidad

As the Western Territory’s officer services secretary, I visit one of the territory’s missionaries each year. Recently, I traveled to Mexico City and Mazatlan to see Major Candy Frizzell, a Western Territory officer serving there. Because children’s homes are a main area of ministry for The Salvation Army of Mexico, I visited our facilities in both locations.

Since poverty prevents many families from staying together throughout the week, the children live at Army facilities during the week and go home on the weekends. Loving and compassionate officers, like Frizzell and others, ensure that they receive food and shelter, are able to attend school, and hear of the love of Jesus. Despite having so little, the children are happy, and The Salvation Army has a positive impact on the lives of these little ones and their families.

I also visited the community that many in our Mazatlan Children’s Home return to on the weekends. As we picked up the children from school, kids kept climbing in the van. Major Candy explained that she gives several of them rides to their homes across the highway in Felicidad so they do not have to walk in the heat and dust of the afternoon.

We left the highway and traveled down a dirt road, past a field of emaciated cows to a grouping of shacks much like the cardboard hovels that the homeless of Los Angeles build to stake their claim on a piece of the sidewalk. These shacks, however, were the permanent homes of most of the children—and they actually had electricity! One little girl was thrilled to point out which house was hers.

As we turned down another dirt road, I noticed a handwritten sign that read “Harmonia.” Although my Spanish is limited, I discerned that the name of this community is “Happy,” and one of the streets has been named “Harmony” by the very people who live there.

I fought back the tears as I prayed for each child that jumped from the van and ran to their home. I pray I will never forget the smile of that little girl proudly showing me where her mama and baby sister live and await her return every weekend. Moreover, today I pray, Lord, forgive me for my discontent. Please give me eyes to see the joy of life and the strength of character to find the peace in my soul that these your little ones have. Thank you for the lesson learned at Felicidad. May my life be lived in gratitude for the blessings I can now see with your eyes instead of mine. Amen!

Your gift to the Overseas Children’s Sponsorship program helps care for these children and others around the world. For information call 562-491-8462 or visit www.usw.salvationarmy.org.


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