A Smile is Universal

February 17, 2016
Olivia Graham, UST '17 on Mission in Honduras
Submitted by Olivia Graham, University of St. Thomas '17

We entered their home and they opened their arms to us with smiles on their faces. The children here at Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (NPH) have come from numerous backgrounds, but once they are welcomed into NPH they are all headed towards the same destination. They are given the opportunity to succeed and to be a part of a loving community they can call home. I am so thankful to be able to participate in this amazing organization.

Throughout my years of school, I have learned to speak Spanish. However, here in Honduras I rarely have to use my Spanish skills. This is because the children here are able to communicate with a simple gesture: a smile. The children will look at me and smile, I will smile back, and with that a true connection is made. We toured the NPH ranch the other day and I was able to see the children interacting as they would on a typical day for them. It was a Sunday at the time, and I half expected the kids to be playing with each other or just hanging out. Instead, I was impressed to see the children doing their chores. Not only were these kids washing their own laundry at age eight, but they were doing the chores with a smile on their faces. You could just see the pride they held within them. I learned that NPH is not just a location for them, it is a home that provides responsibility, security, discipline and love.

I am grateful for the opportunity God has given me to be here. I am happy to say that the first of many lessons I have learned here in Honduras is that no situation is too extreme for God to provide assistance. The children have taught me that a smile is universal.