Shane and Rosita

Hi In December 2009, I was blessed with a chance to go to Honduras on a SIMS (Student for International Mission Service) mission trip. I established many meaningful relationships with the babies, children, parents and other volunteers. A fellow classmate, Emily Pinkerton, and I were able to develop and implement a play art therapy program for the children at the orphanage. It was a great experience especially when I was able to use my professional skills that I learned from school as an occupational therapy student. After experiencing the orphanage for the first time, I knew I had to go back again.


A year later in 2010, I was given an opportunity to go back to Honduras to help implement the play art therapy program with Emily and another classmate, Yvette Paquin. I immediately took it and I was eagerly counting the days until I was back to Pena Blanca, Honduras to help out again. The moment I got back to the orphanage, I ran to my designated room and hurried into the nursery where the babies were. It was amazing to see that the children and babies still recognized me even though a year had past. During my first visit to the orphanage, I was given a nickname by the children “Chino Pepino”. At first, I thought the children thought I was Chinese and when I told them I was Filipino they thought I said “Pepino”. Hence, my nickname: Chino Pepino. When the children saw me, they immediately called out my nickname. To be honest, my nickname was a little annoying during the first time lol. But over year, I really missed the kids calling me that. During one conversation with a frequent orphanage volunteer, he made me realize that it was very meaningful for visiting individuals to return to the orphanage because it showed the children that they cared. Honestly, it’s not hard but very automatic to care and love the babies, children and individuals at the orphanage.

The highlight of the trip for me was re-connecting and establishing a greater bond with the children, especially the babies. During the mission trip, morning and evening childcare duties were assigned to everyone. I took the initiative to visit the nursery every chance I could even when it wasn’t my time for childcare because I enjoyed playing and giving them my attention.

All the children wanted attention and I was willing to spend most of my time giving my attention and care to them. Through prayer, I followed up on a conviction I had to sponsor a child. I was able to sponsor a child that I had established a strong bond with. She was said to be starting school this year and I wanted to support her. I feel that this sponsorship is meaningful to me because I actually know the child that I am sponsoring. It also makes me want to come back a third time to see the children again. I deeply miss everyone at the orphanage in Pena Blanca, Honduras. I also can’t wait to come back again.

-Shane Jorwin Gemoto a.k.a. Chino Pepino