The air was humid and warm, and you could still smell the dew from the afternoon rain. Children were slowly emerging from the houses and were starting to play with the toys in the yard. Some of the children played with the typical bike or soccer ball, while others gathered into groups and began using their imagination to create wonderful stories out of the rocks, mud, leaves, and earth around them. They build bird's nests, forts, and small castles. Their knees were dirty and faces sweaty when the dinner bell rang. The kids rushed back to their respected houses where the house parents had set out a full meal provided by the head kitchen. They bowed their heads to pray, and settled in for an evening of studying, bible time, and movies.
This is what it's like at Casa Bernabe Orphanage in Guatemala City, Guatemala. It's an oasis for 150+ children who have endured difficult living situations. Some are orphans, others have been abandoned, others abused, and others just waiting for their family to be able to afford to house them again. At Casa Bernabe (House of Comfort) children find acceptance, stability, and healing in the love of Jesus.
Even when Casa Bernabe seemingly has so little, Case Bernabe believes that so many people give them time, love, supplies, and food that they should spread the goodwill and love of Jesus to others in every way possible. And that's exactly what they're doing. Not only does this orphanage care and love for the children that reside with them, but they are constantly ministering to the community around them. A multi-acre garden feeds the children healthy, fresh vegetables and any extra they give to local families. The school that is on campus provides outstanding education for the CB kids as well as the children living in the area. The church on campus is constantly doing mission work and inviting families to worship with the children and volunteers every Sunday.
It was here that my family brought me on my first missions trip. It was here that I first really picked up a camera to start documenting stories and emotions. It was here, that a piece of my heart was left behind with the girls and boys we formed incredible bonds with. Over the past 8 years, my family and I have visited numerous times and have tried our best to support CB even while we're off campus; sponsoring girls, raising money for the school house, sending clothes and toys, and communicating as frequently as possible with the kids who have our heart.
As I drove through the mountains of Virginia a few weeks ago, I was reminiscing about how similar, yet different, they were from the mountains of Guatemala where Casa Bernabe is nestled. Suddenly I felt the urge that Indigo Lace Collective needed to be doing more. We're storytellers, documenters of love, and photographers of one of the most important days in a person's life. But we could do more. So as of a few weeks ago, Indigo Lace Collective is now giving a bit back. With every future wedding we book, 10% will be donated to Casa Bernabe and the wonderful things they're doing.
If you're looking to spread the love, you can donate at the link below. Your donation is matched to the dollar, which is even better! Donate here.
What do we hope to get out of this new venture? Absolutely nothing. Our ultimate dream as wedding photographers is to spread the love, whether it's through telling a story of two high school sweethearts on a wedding day or coloring with sidewalk chalk with a little girl in the mountains of Guatemala. This donation pledge helps us get one step closer to our dream.
M & J