“Mommy, I want a baleada,” (the Honduran version of a “burrito.”)

“Mommy, I want to jump on the trampoline.”

“Mommy, I want juice. Mommy, I want candy.”

I looked down into the faces of 6 little girls surrounding me at their school Open House. Instead of feeling annoyance at the whining sounds directed at me, I felt pure joy!

Our family was just finishing up a month of volunteer work supervising children’s activities at the PAHS campus. We had become acquainted with the children when we came as part of a volunteer building team months before.

Why was their whining sweet to me? Because you cannot whine with that intensity at someone you don’t love, someone you are not 100% sure loves you back unconditionally. Their whines meant one thing to me — they truly meant “Mommy” when they called me that!

People ask me, “What do you do in Honduras?”

They want to hear about some amazing building project, a medical/dental clinic that helps hundreds of people a day, or at the very least an energetic vacation bible school in the evenings. These important activities God has called others to do. What He called our family to do is very simple and may seem unimpressive….to model and provide the love of family and a home for these beautiful children who are separated from their own parents and homes for a variety of reasons.

No, it is not impressive. It is not the type of calling that fills one with pride in the re-telling of mission stories when returning home, but it is a calling of deep joy and immense satisfaction: I am called here to be “Mommy.”

Our days are filled with homework, applying band-aids accompanied by hugs and kisses, attending school functions, fixing healthy snacks, playing — and just plain being there. We have had many children sitting around our table at night, learning (hopefully) manners and how a family functions in a home. We have been able to enjoy the normalcy of life…baking a cake to take to a class party, watching “our kids” play soccer, seeing “our kids” in the school program, talking to the teachers to know what is happening at school and how the grades are going. No, it is nothing extraordinary, but it is the very “ordinary-ness” of it that makes it so special. Sometimes God’s greatest gifts come in very simple packages….and that is what He has given us here in our Honduras home.

“As far as lies in your power, make a home for the homeless,” Ellen White reminds us. “Let everyone stand ready to act a part in helping forward this work. The Lord said to Peter, ’Feed my lambs.’ This command is to us, and by opening our homes for the orphans we aid in its fulfillment. Let not Jesus be disappointed in you.”

I am honored that God has called us to serve by just being a family.

I am honored to be called “Mommy”.