The Weather in Our Neck of the Woods

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Working with Friends

What a busy two weeks! The very day the group from Riverside took off last weekend another group arrived that included a couple of Riverside folks, but the majority is from a youth group from the church in Oxford Mississippi. I am now sitting in the living room with young folks sitting behind me chatting about music and life. It has been refreshing, encouraging, challenging, fun, tiring and blessed to spend time with this group of friends, old and new.

Our week in Las Perlas has been amazing. The children could only stare, somewhat afraid of us the first day, but by Thursday they were all smiles and hugs and playing games with us. It has been pretty incredible to watch the transformation. The teachers were just as cautious as the students, but I feel certain that we won them over by the end of the week. We ended with thanks and songs and requests for us to return next year.

Las Perlas is in the poorest area of Volcan. There are 150 children, mostly indigenous. There are 5 teachers, one of whom serves as the Directora (principal). This is the first school where we have found handicapped students, both physically and mentally. We are not sure why that is, whether there are simply more because of the indigenous population, and their lack of medical care for years, or if the handicapped are more welcome in this school in general. But we met and played with Josh, a down-syndrome child of about 9 years old, and a mute kindergarten student named Cristian. There were two others who had speech problems and one 6 year old, Jennifer, who had cerebral palsy. They were all incorporated into the classroom, and the whole school seemed to care for them.

While the school is in the poorest area of the town, it is obvious that they are not forgotten by the community or the world, They have a very nice kitchen, a computer room, fresh pain in most cases, decent bathrooms, and signs on the walls saying this or that has been donated by one group or another. They receive donations for lunches on an irregular basis from a church down the road. With all of these things, they still had never had anyone come in to do Bible classes with them. We were the first, and I am certain that they will never forget this team of rambunctious, energetic, smiling young people. They danced and laughed and played together like one big family all week long.

All of us who live here in Volcan have been blessed this week, thank you Lord!

Our Friday was spent at the beach ‘Barquete’ on the Pacific Ocean, about an hour and a half from our house. Sunburns abounded, but we all had a great time. Of course, lots of folks come and say they will be back, but I really believe most of this team will return. They were touched by the acceptance and love of the children, and God blessed them each for their work and service.

Sorry the blog has been slow in coming. We will do better now.

Sunday church will take the majority of the day, then on Monday we are taking Holly, LaJeana, Hannah and our two new dear friends and translators out to Caña Blanca for the day to share our VBS stories and crafts with them.

Tuesday we will try to share more of the past two weeks in retrospection and whatever new has popped up! Know that we are being blessed daily, and, while we are tired, we have loved having the groups here with us.

Love you all!

Richest Blessings!

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