Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Blessing upon Blessing!
Wow! What a blessed couple of weeks! On June 5th dear family from Riverside came to work with the El Valle Elementary School. We had a few extra folks from the church here who helped out, along with Marta and Kirvyn our dear friends and translators. Everything went great!
~We discovered hidden talents in Ana, from the church in David – she was an awesome puppet! Ana Samaniego is Katy’s mom, and a dear friend and sister as well.
~I knew Erica Dexter/Peck was great with kids, and she proved to be a really good translator as well. Erica is a long-time friend from Harding days, a neighbor, and part of the church here in Volcan.
~Jana, our long-time friend from Yellville added (and still is adding) a spirit of joy and sweetness that are her special gifts. She will be staying with us through the last team’s work which begins July 5th.
~ Meredith was an added blessing! Meredith Woodell came from Searcy to help out, and she did that very well! She just graduated from high school, with 4 years of Spanish under her belt. She and Yari became great friends, as the each practiced their new language skills, music, swimming, and free time together. A great breath of youthful energy was just what this gang needed to be complete!
~Extra special for me was to have Holly, Lisa, Harry, Roger, Gwynna & Curtis from ‘Riverside Stateside’ here with us for the week, sharing, laughing (snoring) and encouraging. We have been renewed by their spirit and love through Christ. Thanks so much for coming down! If there is one thing I have learned, it is how much we need the encouragement of those of you who love and support us. Without you, the work becomes so difficult at times, and I thank God daily for His use of you all to give us courage and strength.
Along with our personal blessings, the children of El Valle were shown what God’s love looks like in person. They learned more about His desires for each of us, and were entertained, hugged, and played with throughout the week. Curtis was amazing – though he never got the hang of the pong type game the boys tried so hard to teach him. He still got out there every day trying! The kids loved it! Even though I think he cost them all quite a few of their playing discs! We look forward to next year when Kathy, Curtis’ wife can join us, and we continue to pray for her and loss of her mother.
So, two days after they left, we had the house prepared for my favorite singing group in the world to stay two nights with us!!! First Day arrived Sunday, June 13th in time to grab a bite and perform a free concert at our local Lion’s Club. They did an awesome job, complete with translated words projected onto the wall so that all could understand the message they came to share. They even sang one song in Spanish – and the whole crowd was super appreciative. Me too! I listen regularly to their CDs, and am blessed and encouraged by them, but seeing their faces while they sing, and being face to face was very moving for me, and very much appreciated! You guys are the best!
On Monday the whole gang – Tim, Matt (and his fantastic wife Carolyn), Bruce, Gary, Kyle, Jeff, along with our ever-faithful translator, Kirvyn, Larry Brady, Medic Baudilio & wife, Erica, plus our entire household, headed out to Caña Blanca Arriba for a day of medical assistance. This was financed almost entirely by donations given to First Day toward that purpose. The dear folks of this small village were offered check-ups, medicines (including the much needed parasite medicine), reading glasses, vitamins, and bags of food staples like rice, beans, salt, sugar and oil. We saw between 80 and 100 people with a huge majority being children.
Along with this effort, Kelly Martin sent new shoes for each school child after hearing that many were coming to school without any footwear. Now every student has a sharp looking pare of tennis shoes! Thanks Kelly!
First Day’s tour of Panama is being assisted by Larry Brady of Panama Missions. While we have known of, and met Larry before, this was our first opportunity to work with him and his organization, and we look forward to doing that more often! You can check out their work at www.panamamissions.org. This group generally works in the Darien Province, but Larry is travelling with First Day throughout this week of concerts and other projects.
First Day rolled out of here early Tuesday morning. They were a hoot the whole brief visit. They were also a huge blessing to our household, and our community. Thanks guys!!!
Okay, there is so much more I could tell you, but this is already long, and yes, I am happily exhausted. My back is nudging me toward my zero gravity chair, and so I will close by saying “Thank You, Lord! We are truly blessed!”
May God grant each of you His Peace and