This is the first weekend the students have gone out to do ministry in this new term. The ministry in Agua Amarilla continues the same, but with different students. The ministry in La Victoria has been changed and will now be in Santa Cruz, also with different students. This was also a very crazy week because of National Children’s Day – but we are very thankful for all the opportunities the Lord God has graciously seen fit to give us!
So, beginning Saturday morning, Sept. 8th, all of the students went together to the garbage dump used by the Santa Cruz area. Many poor families go there each week to look for anything of value they may be able to sell. This particular Saturday, several area churches had gone together, some made food, others brought piñatas with lots of candy, others brought games and prizes, and Teen Missions brought clowns, dramas, and puppets – all with the gospel message being clearly presented. Besides the parents who were there, there were approximately 100 children who participated in the celebration. So, praise the Lord – the church IS reaching out!
Sunday, Sept. 9th, the three A’s: Amanda, Anderson, and Armin were accompanied by Victor to a church in Santa Cruz. They arrived at 8:40 a.m. and helped to clean the church and set up the chairs. Since there was still time, the pastor suggested going out and inviting kids to come to church. As they walked, they came across a group of teenagers and they began to talk about God and one of them said, “Just keep on your way, we are not into that right now!” We said a few more words and then we continued on to invite the kids to church. For a while, we were quite concerned that there wouldn’t be any kids at all in Sunday School that day, because there was a car from the mayor’s office driving around with a speaker, inviting all the kids to come to the city park where they would be giving away toys! However, much to our surprise, when the time came to begin Sunday School, there were 15 kids who came! Amanda taught them a choreography and the kids loved it. Later, Victor taught the lesson about the days of Creation and the kids memorized very well.
Israel, Emanuel and Maira went to Agua Amarilla in the afternoon. They celebrated Children’s Day there with them and had 23 kids in attendance. They praise the Lord because they had a “beautiful” day!
Monday, Sept. 10th was the actual National Children’s Day – the other activities were done early. So the students left early (6:45 a.m.) to give the Values class at the High School from 7 to 7:45 a.m. From there, they stayed in San Isidro because we had been asked to give a presentation to the kids at the public elementary school at 9 a.m. The students did pretty much the same program as they had done on Saturday, so it had clowns, dramas, puppets, and choreographies. When that was over, the students returned to the base and studied until lunch time. Immediately after eating, they hit the road again, as they had been asked to give a presentation to the fifth grade class at a public school in Santa Cruz at 1:00. After the presentation, they helped with the games and piñatas and everything. They were served a small meal of chicken and french fries and they returned back to the base by 5 p.m. Four days later, I (Kathy) was told more of the story. The teacher of that class is also a teacher here at our Bible School. He said that he didn’t want to get in trouble with anyone later saying that he was bringing “religion” into the classroom by having Teen Missions there, so he had a meeting with all the parents. He gave them options for celebrating Children’s Day. He said, “We could have Christian music and the students from Teen Missions come, or we could have secular music and dancing – you decide.” Then he said, “I just want you to think about one thing. What is the message that you are passing to your children? What is it that you want to teach your children?” He said that all of the parents chose to have Christian music and Teen Missions!
Tuesday and Wednesday were pretty much normal days. And then on Thursday, the students had to go to San Isidro to clean the streets for their part of “community service.” The teacher for that day was okay with giving his class in the afternoon instead. On Thursday evening, about 30 people from the Centroamericana church in San Isidro came to have Vespers with us and they brought homemade donuts to share. Friday was another “different” day. Since Sept. 15th is Independence Day here, the schools celebrated and did their parade on Friday the 14th. The students and staff left again at 6:45 a.m. to participate in the parade. After the parade was over, each school did something. Most of the schools did some kind of dance, but Teen Missions had put together quite an amazing drama that talked about how the country may have been liberated 197 years ago in a political sense, but today, it is more oppressed than ever in many ways. They talked about how corruption and violence are ruining the country and what God would desire to see instead (honesty and love) And, of course, how only God can truly liberate anyone at all. When they got back to the base, they had their Friday classes in the afternoon also.
On the days that the students did work here at the base, they were chopping firewood and washing the towels of the kitchen, fertilizing the coffee, and one student put the radiator back on the truck (it had been repaired.)
And that pretty much sums up the week of September 8th to the 14th, 2018. Thank you for your prayers!