Wednesday, July 25, 2016
We arrived at the La Libertad school, which has grades kindergarten through middle school, right about snack time, and brought smiles to the faces of each child as we handed out bags of black beans and water.
As the students were dismissed for recess time with us, this beautiful girl came up to me and started talking away, in Spanish. “Yo no comprehendo,” was my reply. I was able to communicate what our names were and that my “hija” Shelby was there with me. Marlin really loved that. I brought out a piece of paper and wrote my name, asking her to write her name down too. Other girls wrote their names also: Karen, Dasli, Mildreth. Next I wrote down the names of the girls with me: Hope, Ashton, Shelby, Kate Lee. Spelling it out helped us all to pronounce each other’s names. Next came ages. Marlin was so shocked to see my age. (You will just have to guess it.)
As we worked at this school, Marlin stayed pretty close to us. She enjoyed trying to talk with us and especially with the girls. She wanted me to join in the circle where everyone was going to participate in the “Father Abraham” song and motions, in Spanish. Then I encouraged her and her friends to play “Jump The River” with us. The river (two jump ropes lying parallel on the ground) symbolized the space between us and God caused by sin in our lives. After the game was over our team explained to the children what this game meant.
After this Marlin, through an interpreter, asked if Shelby, Kate Lee, Hope, and myself would go with her across the street to the little store to buy something. We did. It was such an honor to see that she was buying for us as well as herself! These families do not have much, and for them to buy something for us was, like I said, an honor.
Back on the school grounds, we sat in the shade, having our snack, watching the last kids play “Jump The River,” which by now was about 9 feet wide. Marlin asked if I went to church. At my “yes” reply, she was very excited, “Bien!” I asked her if she went to church, “Si!” This young lady of 12 has such a joyful heart.
As Marlin and the girls went on to other things, I encouraged Mildreth, 10, to show me her classroom and where she sat. I tried to pronounce the Spanish words on the walls and get them to say the English word but they’d just smile. One student brought me a dry erase marker and now I had the attention of five kids, and their voices! As I wrote out the English, they would try to say it. Little Uber wrote his full name (4 words) and explained how to pronounce it. Then he wrote in Spanish a phrase and asked me to write it in English, so I did. “I like very much,” or “I really like it.” That pleased him.
While the other team members were painting fingernails, handing out stickers, or jumping rope, I used my Nikon camera to draw kids to me. I would take their picture, show them the results, then I would have them take pictures. They would giggle when they saw the subject matter of the picture they took. I love using my camera to God’s glory.
As we were getting ready to go, Marlin and her friends gave us such big hugs. I really enjoyed spending time with these kids today. They were a happy, friendly group. Thanks Lord for giving me this opportunity to spread Your love with them today.
A note from the guys: Though both our vehicles came to a traffic stop, the guys were stopped. The police asked for identification and their bags were searched. Tate was sweating because he couldn’t find his passport. Thankfully our interpreter Miguel explained to them that the guys were missionaries and all was well.
And at the school, in the soccer game, the score: Locals – too many to count vs. Gringos 3.
Thank you for praying for us while we are here. We have definitely felt it and seen the results. Keep the prayers coming! Good night.