Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Week of Crazy

This past week has been "Crazy Week" at La Aljaba. The children have enjoyed their first of 4 weeks out of school by having lots of fun here. On Friday of the week we enjoyed 'water day'. I took pictures of the games and relays that were going on in each of the groups, and then came inside to work. After a while, I heard children calling my name. Being the suspicious person that I am, I took Lucy's phone with me for protection. I walked out and found all of the kids laughing and soaking wet. I laughed as well, until someone grabbed Lucy's phone and I was hit with 3 buckets of water at the same time. The water was so cold, but I could do nothing but laugh! Everyone else was already wet, so there was nothing I could do to retaliate. I was hit by at least 4 more buckets before the end of the fun. It seems that everyone wanted a shot at this gringo.

The week ended with a Family Day. It was truly a great thing to meet some of the parents of the kids we serve. People were entertained by the tutors who "dressed up" for the occasion. Families were also encouraged to dress up and have their family picture made.

At the end of family day most all of the children went home with their parents for the remainder of school break, I already miss having them around. My days are not quite as bright without their smiling faces. There are still a few bright and shiny faces around. Kimberly, Damisela, Deanna, Jeison, Marlon, and Valentina are keeping my days happy until the middle of July!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Te Amo

God is really showing me how much he loves me.  It is incredible to me that I get to live here and be loved on by so many children day in and day out.  Crossroads Church (my home church) sent a short term mission team this past week, so I got to share all of this love with my friends and family for Concord. 
While they were here we went to Peru and visited a village on the river bank.  In this village many of the residents come to the bank to greet visitors with their “pets”.  These pets vary from Turtles, monkeys, sloths, birds, snakes, and a “tiger”.  The “tiger” is actually an ocelot.  It has grown a lot from last year.  Its growl does sound a quite intimidating.  Its owner comforted it by allowing it to suck on her fingers.  So somewhere in the back of my mind, I thought “How cool, I wanna try that!”  It was very cool, but I later had the thought…”He could have taken my hand off.”  Oh well Thank God he didn’t. 

I am continually impressed with how gracious the people are here.  I have not encountered anyone unfriendly.  Even when they are laughing at me regarding my lack of language skills, I just join them and we all have a good laugh together.

God is using these children to show me so much of Himself. Yesterday one child, we will call her “Bea”, wanted my attention every minute of the day.  She is 5 years old and was very upset when I was typing and trying to finish up some emails and work.  She continued to bang her hands on the keyboard.  I would stop her and redirect her, and after just a few minutes, she was back at it again.  Finally after going back and forth for a couple of hours, I lightly popped her hand.  Well you would have thought I had cut the hand off by her reaction.  She stomped off and pouted in the corner glaring at me.

After about 10 minutes, I went over to her and picked her up.  She began fighting me and hitting me.  I hung onto her and would not let her go.   I just kept saying “te amo”, (I love you) over and over again.  She finally stopped kicking, hitting, and screaming and laid comfortably in my arms.  I sat down and prayed over her.  She didn’t move.  It was a sweet moment when God shared with me that I act like that sometimes, and he just wants me to sit and rest in Him so he can love on me.

Please pray for the children of La Aljaba.  Pray that they will not only know the love of the Father, but that they are His and they can trust in Him because of His love for them.
Thank you to all of you for supporting me and allowing me this great adventure.