The Second Family

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” [Galatians 3:28]

Family is the principal form for human organization. It is a social grouping based on kinship or on the establishment of a social pairing in marriage. However, unfortunately in our country like many others this main foundation of society is often found destroyed or incomplete.

For me, arriving at UPH meant finding my second family, and brothers and sisters from different countries and cultures since here there are no kinship ties, rather there are bonds of love united in Jesus. On many occasions I have felt a brotherly love: in moments of facing difficulties these individuals have approached me to offer their unconditional support. During this year I have seen how the UPH community - comprised of staff, youth and children - has become a family with strong bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood where the activities we lead in the different programs go beyond being just another activity. For example, in January at the end of our Vacation Camps I had the opportunity to visit one camp on their last day and I was impacted upon seeing the children crying because camp was ending, and the youth hugging the kids and giving them cards with words  of affection and affirmation which is likely not the norm in their homes with their parents. In our camps the children do not look at the youth as people that teach them or play with them but rather family members that offer love and trust.

Another more recent experience that made me think about this topic was when I spoke with one of our new youth who hails from a place called Cortes located on the North Coast of Honduras. He has had a turbulent past having never known his father, suffering the loss of his mother when he was only 8 years old, and then his grandparents three years ago who became his guardians following his mom’s death. He then moved in with his sister and aunt but this situation became difficult due to arguments and disagreements, and he decided to move to a town in Western Honduras where he had another aunt. Upon arriving in Copán at first he felt very lonely as he did not know any one or have any friends. But he soon saw an advert on Facebook about being a leader in our AfterSchool Programs, applied and was hired. In one of my recent mentoring times with him he commented just how happy he felt and how great it was to be in UPH. Excited he told me, “I feel like I have found a family and a purpose for my life.”

This tells me that while we cannot replace families of flesh and blood we can become the kind of family God desires us to be, loving one another as He loves us.

 

Dioni Hernández - Youth Program Assistant Director