The past two years Hillcrest has visited Casa de Luz (House of Light). The home is for children with severe disabilities. It is a life changing experience.
Hillcrest students arrive via bus. An overview of the home is given by Elson Jones, the trip leader. Elson explains that in poorer countries the people who suffer the most are those with disabilities. In the United States there are a number of organizations that look-out for people who have difficulties or physical disabilities. But in poor countries the marginalized in society suffer the most.
As the students walk off the bus there is a sheepishness to their advance towards the building. Unless a person has been trained in working with disabilities the experience can be intimidating. Caretakers guide students to bedsides. Some students are directed to wheelchairs where outstretched arms accompany jubilant groans from children unable to communicate.
As the Hillcrest students settled in there was a peaceful comfortability that came over the building. Adrienne Schultz started in a chorus of Jesus Loves Me, sung in Spanish. Her hand holding that of a severely disabled teenager who was bound to a wheelchair. Jared Christenson slowly walked over, drawn in by the song he learned in Spanish class, to provide unity for Adrienne as she continued in the song. The experience was inspiring for many of the adults. Sitting with smiles on their faces, chaperons couldn't help but praise God by treasuring these moments of students directing attention to Jesus, the healer, rather than the challenge of the disabilities holding back the children in their midst.
JeeHoon Park pulled out his guitar. A toddler flopped her head near JeeHoon as chords from the guitar broke the silence in the room. She reached her hand towards JeeHoon, who took it gently to feel the soothing vibrations from the guitar. The chords were interrupted by muted strumming. All part of a worship song that felt better than it sounded, a resolution to the brokenness and a small picture into the reality of Easter. The time of the year where the world has a chance to see Jesus break into what we have grown to call beauty of the Earth to feel the vibrations of humanity and resolve the dissonance of sin to reveal the relationship of God.
All in all, Casa de Luz was a glimpse into the heart of Christ. Chaperons witnessed something truly beautiful here.