Well, I missed blogging at all while the group was here. I guess that means I was busy elsewhere.
So here we will quickly cover the bases, so to speak.
We put up "water speed bumps" a while ago...but with some of the major rains coming this year, the man cave was still flooding. The new ditch is absolutely needed to keep the big rains from becoming bigger problems for us in the long run.
Eventually of course we will need to put a grate over the ditch for driving purposes, but that will come when everything is nicely cured.
They also helped us move out the sewing ministry of the old clinic building. For the time being, there will be a library there for the milk project, much needed space to be sure.
We also used the group to clean out the old clothing container (the container where we store the clothes we take to rural areas) which had not been done 100% for....a long time. We have the clothing organized, the sewing ministry supplies all sorted and stored, ready to go to the second floor of the clinic space...when the time comes!
We were able to visit a government run day care in Siquatepeque on Wednesday, a first for us. We thought it was an orphanage, but instead found a day care...but definitely with at-risk children in many ways.
They got to play, have fun, explode balloons, and in general run the group ragged.
The director was just happy for the kids to get such an opportunity, a rare treat. She also mentioned to us that she would be trying eventually to help the children celebrate their birthdays...some have never done so.
Talking with Darwin, the IHNFA (the governmental organization charged with protecting children/running state orphanages) spends over 70% of its budget on salaries, leaving very little (like for child care) for all the other areas of the administration.
Thursday, while on a food distribution with the Church in Talanga, we got to meet Maria, who we were told was 100 years old. I asked her what her birthday was, and she quickly said "September 8th, 1932" which was impressive, and shares a birthday with a loved one of ours, but did not quite add up to 100.
Her prosthetic leg looked to be one she has had for many years, and she wanted to get up as we were leaving, but could not.
Like so many we visit, she was just very grateful for the visit, for the prayer...and yes for the food.
We did not visit nearly as many children in the hospital with this group for a few reasons, but Hector...it was especially good we got to meet him.
His mother was elsewhere, running errands likely for Hector's treatment, his father back home in Nacaome...with his other 11 brothers and sisters. He had a bone infection, and has been in the hospital for five months, with no word of when he might be able to go home. Alone in a big room, with no TV and nothing to pass the time. I almost opened his puzzle for him, but quickly reasoned...he had plenty of time to figure that first puzzle out before getting to the real puzzle.
He and his family do not attend any Church...we prayed for him and left him a Christian tract, but we are still praying that God would bring others into his life back in Nacaome when he gets to go home that would help lead him in a walk with Christ.
The group did a great job with a lesson for the milk project...Jesus calming the storm, and then for us to remember from Psalms 56:3 "When I am afraid, I will trust in You."
It is continually great to see how pouring into the lives of the kids is bearing fruit...the group commenting on how well behaved they were, how they shared, how they helped each other, and returned all the pencils, glue sticks, etc. I can remember more than one group the first few years being scared for their personal safety dealing with 50 children seemingly stampeding them.
It was also great to have Cecilia with us, having a half day at school, who jumped right in to translate the lesson, and then organize some games and things with one of the classrooms. She definitely does not have a problem being in charge (or at least thinking she is), or handling doing lessons and all that goes along working with kids!
Cecilia had a half day at school as there was a patriotic day activity/show, which also means that everyone dresses up in the traditional garb. Here is a better picture of her ready to go to school that morning before she danced and sang.
And it was definitely an interesting trip home from El Patio Friday night....everything was fine, waiting in traffic for over an hour...when the clutch just went to the floor. That brought about another long wait for Oscar to come to the rescue with the Blue Ford to tow us all the way back to the mission house.
We have never done a final debrief with a group in the back of the pickup on the anillo before....it was good, but not something we plan on doing again anytime soon! At least the traffic cleared by the time we got rescued, and it was great to have at least two very nice gentleman stop to try to see if we needed help with transportation or making a call.
There was more done and being done....all in all another great group that helped His Eyes tremendously with their presence, and we pray that through the experiences God gave them that they will be changed and transformed for greater service to Him!