Three weeks ago, we had the opportunity to go back to where it all began…..Pachacutec, Peru. Three years ago, Stephanie and I were on a team of 9 women on a Women’s Mission Trip to Peru. The idea was born….we were going to do something. When Jake was born, Stephanie decided to use cloth diapers. We had discussed sending the diapers to Peru, but didn’t quite know how it was going to work out at the time. Until, we heard about our friend, Debbie, was planning a return trip to Peru. So began the ministry of Jake’s Diapers.
We(the women on the mission trip), had a lot of wonderful, exciting ways that we would be spreading the Gospel during the week. The diaper drop at El Refugio was one of the activities and the one that I will be focusing on for this blog. On the morning of Saturday, January 25, just after getting to Peru early that morning, we gathered up the suitcases with diapers, cloth wipes, formula, and pillowcase dresses to take to El Refugio. It was hard to believe, that the moment that we had been planning and praying for, was actually here. Erin(Living Missions Peru) had communicated a lot with Doris from El Refugio about the diaper drop ahead of time, making sure that this would be a good match. Erin, Linda, Shelly, Donna, and I arrived at El Refugio, diapers in hand and several women and children waiting at the orphanage for us. They greeted each of us with a hug and kiss on the cheek(as is common in Pachacutec) and invited us in and to sit down.
I explained to the ladies about the gift that we brought and how the idea of Jake’s Diapers that began with El Refugio has grown to help children in many other countries. We talked about how to use and wash the diapers. The caregivers had used prefold diapers in the past and were familiar with how to wash them.
One thing that is important to Living Missions Peru(Erin and Pepe) is the big picture and long-term relationships. When mission teams come to Peru, it is not just a week of fun activities, but one week that will have a lasting effect on not only the people of Pachacutec, but the teams that spend time there. One program that will be started because of the gift of diapers is a Mother Volunteer Program. The mothers at El Refugio will be encouraged to help out on a regular basis by washing the cloth diapers.
The caregivers were so thankful for the diapers and other items. It was so great to see their reactions and know that this will make a difference in their lives. We were also thrilled to give a set of diapers to Erin who will be having a baby in the spring. I am confident that our relationship with these ladies will continue and we will be able to send more diapers to them in the future.