We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.Pierre Tielhard De Chardin

This will be the first of my posts describing an awesome experience my family and I shared this past November, 2011. We found an organization, A Child’s Hope Foundation, with whom we traveled to Baja California, Mexico and helped with their mission to support orphanages there.

We were able to do this over the Thanksgiving break. My wife Linda, and our boys; Cody 17, Cameron 13, and A.J. 9, served with 60 other men, women and children from the USA, Including Paul and Carolene Cook , the founders of the organization and their daughter Megan. (Please read their story here!) The picture to the right is Megan on our mission, with one of her “kindred.”

The whole experience was overwhelmingly positive. The work they are doing is important, valuable and mentally, emotionally and spiritually rewarding… and, on a selfish note, I lost seven pounds from the physical labor too!

We worked in an orphanage, Buena Vida in a small valley city, La Mision (only one “s”) between Rosarito and Ensenada. 

Being a Parent is like being a rock star! –Joe Hamilton.

It’s true, as a father I’ve come home and had my children lose their minds! “Daddy, daddy, daddy’s home!” They make me feel better than the Stones on their return tour at the Colosseum in LA!

The children of Buena Vida treated us the same way. They accepted us as family, immediately, and without question!

I was most struck by the fact that certain children attached themselves to each and every one of us, as if we were returning after a long period of absence. I couldn’t help but think of Pierre De Chardin’s quote at the beginning of this post.

I can’t find an adequate description for this part of the experience, it was so powerful. The phrase “kindred spirit” came to mind;

kindred: “a group of persons related to another; family, tribe or race.”

Spirit: “the soul regarded as separating from the body at death.”

My “kindred spirit” was little six year old Mia. I affectionately “nick named” her “Mia, Mi amore!” The only explanation I can find for her connection to me, as a person, is that we are “kindred,” even family in “spirit” not just separated from our bodies at death but most certainly united with our human tabernacle/body at birth. I know in my heart and soul (spirit) that we, mia and I,  were certainly spirit family before our temporal existence here, only to be reunited on earth last November.

Certainly we are all spiritual brothers and sisters here together, kindred spirits having a human experience.

It is my hope and prayer that this small effort on my part will encourage you to serve your kindred, wherever they may be on earth. I hope also that you will consider A Child’s Hope Foundation as a vehicle for that service!

Here are a few more of the 100’s of pictures Linda took on our trip. I’ve included these few in keeping with today’s “Kindred Spirit” topic.