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  • Writer's pictureRich and Cherry Smith

Those Left Behind…

Updated: Jun 30, 2023

There are lots of good reasons to learn another language. But one that we realize more and more lately is when we come across a word or expression in one language that does not necessarily translate the same or even exist in another language. You find yourself learning to be able to express or communicate things in ways you couldn’t before or maybe more accurately than you could before. This is really exciting. Of course, this often leads us to a lot of Spanglish in our home as we begin conversations with each other in one language and jump to the other to be able to express something better :)

One of the best examples of this for us is the name for our actual Transition Program; Los de Atras Vienen Conmigo. This doesn’t have a direct or simple translation in English but the amazing thing is that in Spanish it’s more than a name or a phrase…it’s a whole message! 

Quite often when we are talking with Spanish speakers about the plans and the project and tell them the name, they literally tear up. They understand the powerful message of these few small words! 

What is this message?

Those that are left behind, those that come after me, I will bring them with me. I won’t leave them or forget them. They are with me, they belong. 

Where did this message come from?

God placed it in the heart of our son, Edwin years ago. As he had to leave the system of protection (orphanage) where he grew up, he learned first hand the horrors of feeling alone in this world and trying to figure out how to survive. As well, he has watched other friends that grew up in his same context  go through their own struggles beyond what most of us can even imagine…and some that didn’t survive that brutal passage. Through all of this, God placed this message and this dream in Edwin’s heart. A dream to be able to provide a safe place of transition and learning based in love and grace. 

This is the message we want to communicate to the young people that God brings to us at Casa de Gracia/House of Grace.

We want to show them love by making sure they know they are not forgotten. There is a God who created them with a plan and a purpose for their life. With Him alone can they find their true identity and place of belonging. And we want to be a part of that process and that family/community of belonging. They are not alone in this world. They are loved and valued by God Himself and they are loved and valued by our family.

That is why we are working hard to develop the property and build this transition home; Casa de Gracia.

 And that is why we are working hard to put together this transition program;

Los de Atras Vienen Conmigo. 

 This is our prayer. Please Lord, help us to honor you in living out this message, this dream that you placed in the heart of this young man. This young man that has experienced  much suffering yet chosen to turn those experiences into a passion to not leave others behind but to bring them with him!

Isaiah 1:17

Learn to do good.

Seek justice.

Defend the cause of the orphans.

Fight for the rights of the widows.

What an incredible blessing and honor to be allowed to be a part of this.

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