Merari’s quinceañera was on. Then, it was off (postponed). Then, it was on again. Thankfully, our staff and a very special group of friends made Merari’s quinceañera dream come true in 24 hours.
Quarantine Tried to Cancel Our Party
👑 Turning 15 is a big deal for Guatemalan girls. Families plan huge parties, complete with fancy meals, dancing, and beautiful dresses for the birthday girl. In many ways, it’s a celebration of a girl’s transition from a little girl to a young woman.
Merari has been dreaming about her quinceañera for quite a while. We set the date for her party—July 30th. Our final mission team would be here and could help us with the party.
Less than 2 weeks before the quinceañera, a possible coronavirus exposure activated our safety protocols. All our girls were placed in quarantine for 10 days for monitoring. If anyone showed any symptoms, the quinceañera would not happen.
Merari was heartbroken. Our staff and the mission team were disappointed. We couldn’t do anything other than wait.
Planning a Party in 24 Hours
After 10 days of quarantine, our girls were cleared. No one was sick. In just 2 days, our mission team would be going home. We had one more night with them. There was hope for a party after all.
Can we plan a quinceañera in 24 hours? Yes, yes we can! Everyone was determined to make Merari’s quinceañera dream come true.
Part of our team transformed the backyard with lights, balloons, tables, and linens. Our boys got fresh haircuts in a matter of hours, thanks to one of our mission team members. A small group set out to scour the city for clothes, accessories, and special decorations. And yet another group pampered our girls with hair and makeup.
Food was ordered. Supplies gathered. Everything came together just in time.
Most importantly, Merari celebrated her birthday with the people she loves most.
Looking especially dapper in his suit, Yire walked his big sister into the party. Until a few years ago, these siblings hadn’t met. Now, we watched as they celebrated this important milestone in Merari’s life together.
We prayed together, shared a meal, and then danced.
For her first dance, Merari asked one of our mission leaders to dance with her. Not only was the moment incredibly special for him, but it also allowed Merari to honor the time and love he has given our children.
And then, everyone else joined in and we danced the night away.
From Merari, “I appreciate the support of each one for helping in my dream. I had a great time at my party and will remember it all my life. Thank you so much. God bless you!”