Tuesday started with personal prayer and devotion time, breakfast, group devotion, and then it moved on into the same work painting the wall. It was VERY hot work, and we all got a bit out-of-it finishing, but at the end of the time, the once-red wall that we had primed white was now yellow!
Next, we ate lunch with the kids and prepared for an afternoon of lessons! This time, we had an activity with paper plates to illustrate part of the lesson about using our blessings to bless others, and James taught most of the lesson while I translated, when necessary. It was obviously both a difficult and rewarding afternoon for James--teaching in another language is quite a bit tougher than teaching in your native tongue.
We then had our evening supper, played with the kids in the cancha (playground), and did our evening devotions with them. We also had a nice group debriefing and discussion, to round down the evening.
Wednesday, we started off our morning with an early 7am breakfast, and then we went to the local 'International House of Prayer' and joined them for a morning of prayer.
We next began sorting large boxes of food into piles (the food was going to go bad before it could be used by the children's home), determining what all food was available, and finally making blue food-bags with them to be given out to the mothers of the children at the home so that the children could eat when they were sent home briefly over the short summer break. We worked on this both Wednesday and Thursday, but photos below are from the completed project.
After lunch, we again had lessons with the youth--this time over peacemaking using some Aikido to visualize responses to conflict. The kids also greatly enjoyed a zombie game that tied into our lesson about not letting verbal attacks from multiple people sink in and moving our minds and hearts to love and understand.
Later that night, we enjoyed another great supper, had time in the cancha with the kids, and read them devotions. We also were able to debrief with a couple of friends from the home staff joining us.
Thursday, we finished making food bags, then we taught our final lesson to the kids. It was a fairly fun lesson involving cups with Manzana Lift (a delicious apple soda) and cups with a gross mixture (we used vinegar, bathroom cleaning water, dirt, hair, trash, spit, etc.). The start of the lesson involved us leading the kids around in a follow-the-leader-line-game. Then they had to do it blindfolded. It was obviously harder when they couldn't see. We then asked them which was easier, and we asked them if they trusted God, even when the future seemed back and they couldn't see. We also asked them if they trusted us. They answered yes to both. At that, we obviously mixed the bad drinks and set down a number of bad and good drinks (half as many bad drinks as were youth in the room, and half as many good drinks as were youth in the room), then we blindfolded them and moved them and the drinks around so that they didn't know who had what (except that half had good and half had bad drinks). While we were shuffling them around, we also switched all the bad drinks with hidden good drinks, so that everyone had good drinks. Then we asked again if they trusted us, told them they all had good drinks, and told them that they didn't have to drink if they didn't want to but that they were now free to drink! It was funny seeing how many slowly sniffed the drinks, how many barely sipped it with revulsion on their faces, and how many refused to drink. Then we told them to open their eyes, and they all saw their drinks were good and drank.
This was obviously a great lesson about trusting God when we cannot see the future, have reason to believe that the path He's telling us to follow is bad, but still trusting Him if we know He is calling us down the path.
With the older kids we also shared the story of the disciples--how they fled and hid when Jesus died; they could never see the future, but the future now seemed very bad! Then we shared how some even had to feel Jesus' wounds before trusting enough to follow (like many didn't drink until they lost their blindfolds). We explained that Jesus doesn't require perfect faith, but that we do have to trust Him in greater measure as we go. We were also honest that, while the disciples DID get the best life by following Him, that following Him does have a serious cost--all the disciples died brutal deaths. Nonetheless, we fervently believe that they lived the best lives for them, and that they had rewards on earth and will in the life to come. All in all, it was a fun, good, lesson, and it seemed that many of the youth 'got' it.
After that lesson, we had a different supper--we ate with the local pastor and his wife, the children's home's director and his wife, and a young assistant at the home and his wife. It was a fun fellowship supper; afterwards, we played with the kids briefly in the cancha and had devotions with them and a debrief time within our group. It was a good and full day--though very exhausting. Chronicles to continue!...