The Good ~
We were able to minister to hundreds of children at 5 different locations over 4 days. On Thursday we had 87 children in the morning and 106 in the afternoon. Our ministry was made easier by our awesome interpreters ~ Mirna, Sharon & Amanda! Those girls are great! Lots of music, hand motions, Bible events retelling, love, candy, rainbow loom bracelets, hugs, crafts, smiles & waves. These children and their families are precious. They live in circumstances and areas that most of us know nothing about. We are all so spoiled and like all our comforts & don't know what it means to scrimp & scratch out a meager existence for our families. We all have clothes, food, a roof over our heads & the blessing of electricity.
The Bad ~
Going to an impoverished country on a Mission Trip is a challenge. Our container with supplies arrived in the country on Oct. 29.....its still being held in customs. We didn't get any of it. So that meant a lot of scrambling, improvising, and making do for Vacation Bible Schools. There aren't big box craft stores down there you can go into to buy new stuff. We were able to get crayons & paper. We also had some craft supplies with us in our luggage. And what happens to that shipment? Well, the new government took control this week & the new President was sworn in ~ he is making a clean sweep of the old regime and putting in his own folks. Our shipment may be sitting there complete & untampered with ~ or it could have been opened & ransacked before the old guys left. Whatever is left will one day be released and the stuff gotten to where it needs to be.
The Ugly ~
I haven't been on a Mission Trip in recent years where Ugly didn't show up. Ugly is how the enemy works to carve out division in the group, to cause dissension, to interrupt the ministry. Ugly comes in many different forms ~ inflexibility, selfishness, not a team player, complaining, tears, attitudes, words, etc. Ugly happened. So what to do when Ugly rears its head ~ you can try to talk & reason, you can pray, you can ignore it, you can "build a bridge & get over it". Ugly also makes a fun time seem like work, and a chore/challenge to everyone else who is around the Ugly. It is not a person ~ its an attitude, a spirit, a working of the enemy. It can happen to any of us & affect everyone around us ~ including the children you were to minister to. Ugly likes to use words like "I", & "me".
We prayed for months about this trip. We were definitely out of our comfort zone with going out with the VBS team everyday ~ twice a day. But we were blessed by the children ~ their love, affection, joy, and enthusiasm is contagious. We, as parents, were blessed to see Amy work in these situations and love on these precious little children & form fast, tight bonds with our interpreters ~ especially Mirna. We love walking around town and talking with the shop folks that speak English. Greg was able to hand out many gospel DVD's. We are talking & praying about next year already ~ as Amy said only 51 more weeks.
Romans 5: 1-5
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance, and perseverance, character and character, hope, Now hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the who Spirit who was given to us.
|Amy had just given Mirna her rainbow loom & rubber bands to keep!|
|Denia, Amy, Mirna & Sharon|
|Greg gave Mirna his MSU hat to keep! She kept swiping it all week!|
|I drank 2 this week! Lovely, orange Mirinda! Wish it came in light/diet!|
|Our last night ~ Denia, Mirna, Amy, Sharon, Amanda & Exdi ~ just missing Sonya!|