We remember the beginning, when we started visiting the kids from San Jose children’s home. We remember their excitement for meeting someone new. We remember their smiles and laughter. We remember hearing their stories and learning about their struggles. And we remember Perla.
Her whole life Perla had heard people describing her as slow, not very smart and isolated. These words started to shape who she thought she was and she would act this way. We would very rarely hear her voice and school was a struggle for her.
In her school the teachers were only allowed to pick three students with the worst grades to stay in the same school grade and Perla was selected to be held back. Being selected led to her feeling embarrassed, feeling weak, and feeling like she will never be able to be successful.
That summer we hired a tutor to help the kids at San Jose with their academic studies. Perla started going to therapy as well and after some time, Perla’s progress became very noticeable.
When we would come visit, we would hear Perla’s voice more and more. Very quickly, she became a B+ student. Her facial expressions started to change and she began to exhibit pride in herself and her work. We started to notice her confidence and we knew that everyone else was beginning to see it too.
This brings me to graduation day at her school this year. We were there to celebrate another girl from San Jose because she finished elementary school, but our jaws dropped when we saw Perla.
At school in Mexico, some kids are selected to hold the national flag in front of the student body and this is seen as a place of honor. Only the kids with the highest grades combined with good character are chosen to serve in this way. These honor students open every important school ceremony and everyone stands as a sign of respect for the flag and the students holding it.
The six honor students entered the room and Perla was one of them. She was selected for respect, selected for greatness, selected for success. Her teachers saw her the way God sees her and put her in a place of honor.