There is a group of two pastors here seeing how things go for a group, getting a feel for the country etc. Today we went to Sampedrana...you cannot adequately express with words what that drive is like, you have to experience it. And today after much rain in the past weeks, months....and rain on the way down the mountain on the way back, it lived up to the expectations...unfortunately of course.
It was our chance to take the community some Kids Against Hunger rice. Gender invited members from over 50 different families in the community who are not in the Church to come for the food, and stay for a message along with some songs.
The patience of everyone was impressive. Gender had everyone on a list, we went in order, and there were no problems whatsoever. We took extra rice...good thing too since none of the families from the Church were included on the list, so they will get some rice as well. Those that came from the Church were there to work...including those singing and playing instruments (so much improved since the Church was started!) and having a Sunday school time for the children outside.
Once again...it was standing room only, with people outside. What a great problem to have...they would love to get a new building built that would accommodate double or triple the number of people...all in God's timing.
There are obstacles of course, not just to a new building. There is still persecution, some in the community trying to stir up trouble (sound familiar to anyone?) and as well the community has not been taking care of the soccer field. With the rains...portions of two exterior walls are in deep danger of collapsing, and with mudslides on the other side, the family living up the hill is in danger of losing their home. They continue to use the field for soccer...but we are praying that they will come together to give the field the maintenance it needs.
Before we left, we got to see more of what Gender was planning with their sewing ministry. They have several blankets made already, out of some leftover clothes...and some surgical gowns. Ironically, the one made out of surgical gowns was more expensive...because it is all one color. Ok, whatever works. They are also going to branch out soon to make some other items for sale as well...sisters from the Church doing the work and then finding an outlet where to sell them....Gender says people are already asking when they will have enough ready for sale...very encouraging.