November 4, 2016

Celebración de cumpleaños

Written by  Amanda Peoples
Eduardo, Derek, and Javier* enjoy the birthday celebrations at Casa Feliz. Eduardo, Derek, and Javier* enjoy the birthday celebrations at Casa Feliz. Photo provided by Amanda and Bobby Peoples.

This article appears in the November/December 2016 issue of Missionary Messenger; sign up to read more articles like this one.

Manuel* has received a large bag of spicy corn chips, called “churros” here, and he grins from ear to ear holding up his prize. I am sure he will end up sharing the treat with others, but for now the thought of having an entire bag of chips to himself fills his mind. The other boys his age are passing around his box of Legos; ready to play with them, but knowing they have to wait for Manuel to open them.

You see, it is “Birthday Celebration” day and everyone’s excited. When you live with twenty-five brothers and sisters, birthday parties are done in groups.

No ordinary day

Our afternoon class wound down a little early. There was a buzz of excitement in the air as we collected papers and put books away. Today was no ordinary day at Casa Feliz, the children’s home we serve at in Honduras. We usually celebrate monthly or quarterly with dinner followed by cake and presents. Sometimes, there is even a candy-filled piñata, a party item essential for most celebrations in Honduras. Sometimes the gifts are simple, but they’re always well received.

Little José has asked me about the party repeatedly since class started. I smile to see him so happy even though it’s not his actual birthday.

Today we are celebrating eight of the children ranging in age from six to sixteen years old. They gather around the cake to blow out the candles together, while the rest of the children press in behind them, eager to be a part of it. Afterwards, the director calls each child forward and bestows the much-anticipated gift while we all clap in grand applause. As they tear into the packaging, we walk around the room, taking in the children’s joy and excitedly asking to see what they received. They proudly show us all of the goodies in their bags.

A reminder of worth

Parties are a reminder to each child that they are special and loved.
In a home of orphans and children without their families, these simple celebrations are more than just parties. They are a reminder to each of the children that they are special and loved. It’s an opportunity for us to encourage them and affirm that they are valuable and cherished by God. We hope the message continues to fill them after the churros have been eaten and the sugar has worn off. We want the message to dwell deep in their souls and we strive to live it out every day with the children at Casa Feliz. Through special party days and small daily actions and words, we want to impart this message in all that we do — “You are worth celebrating.”

Amanda and Bobby Peoples, along with their son, serve in La Ceiba, Honduras, at Casa Feliz, a children’s home. If you are interested in supporting the Peoples, please contact Barry Freed at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

*Pseudonyms are used to protect the privacy of the children.

This article appears in the November/December 2016 issue of Missionary Messenger; sign up to read more articles like this one.