First let me please mention that there is much to be done here, but our resources, as well as those of Puente de Amistad, are limited. We have had a few people ask about helping, so if you feel lead to help monetarily with anything we mention in our posts, or something else altogether, please feel free to contact us directly and we will let you know how you may be able to help.
Our day started with preparations for the group that arrived today from Georgia. Amalia had Jacin make snicker-doodle cookies, and then he was on cleaning duty for the next hour or so. I pitched in a little after getting ready for church, and we are pretty sure she could have kept us busy all day had we not told her we would be late for church. We attended Templo Sion, the home church of Juan and Alma and their family, as well as the kids from Casa Hogar Sion (orphanage). The worship was amazing! We were familiar with most of the songs, and tempting as it was to sing along in English, they projected the words on the wall, so we did our best to sing in Spanish. It was so humbling to watch the congregation worship with complete abandon, some kneeling on the tile floor simply because they were overcome by the presence of the Holy Spirit. We often feel (self-inflicted) restraint at home, perhaps because we know everyone and feel as though we are supposed to act a certain way, or perhaps because we simply cannot detach from the worries of life and truly focus on God as we should. Regardless of the reason, it is so refreshing to be truly broken before the Lord. We understood maybe .02% of the sermon, but Jorge (the director of the orphanage) was so passionate we could not help but be moved.
Church ran later than expected, so we quickly communicated with Alma that we would have to visit later in the afternoon. We headed out to the project the Georgia team will be working on – putting in water supply lines for a makeshift colony that was forced to move from their location near a government canal project. Aleazar, the outreach minister of the colony, has been working for the last couple of years to educate children and feed the needy, and he is currently working on an elderly ministry, as well as setting up a beauty school for the young women so they can obtain employment.
Running late, we rushed over to Juan and Alma’s to deliver the shoes and baby supplies. Juan was home, so he and Jacin attempted communication (with lots of gestures), while the kids played and Alma and I enjoyed watching them. We convinced them to tell us of their personal needs, so we will be heading to the store again to pick up a few more items (shoes for Juan Sr and groceries). True to a mother, Alma did not request anything for herself, so we are praying that God will show us just the right thing to bless her with.
We then headed over to the orphanage (Sion) to deliver a load of toys that Nation bought for them, and to see what needs we may be able to help with. They have several buildings on their property that house different ages of children (97 in all). We were able to see everything and meet several of the children. Jorge showed us the project he is most concerned with – leveling the concrete pad in front of the infant and toddler house so that they have a safe place to play. He also wishes to put a roof over the area to keep it shaded. Our quick estimate is $600 just for the concrete (we will be using the young men living at the orphanage to help with labor, both mixing and pouring). We are in prayer about this project, as our finances are limited for buying supplies. We want to be able to help with more than this one project, so will have to budget time and money to have the most impact.
We headed back to base to eat and see what was needed of us. We had a visit with Oliver, a missionary pastor from Peru, currently working in Mexico. Justice and Jacin met him last year while here, and it was great to reconnect with him. Off to bed, as we have to be up early to help with food for the day, before working on one of the projects on our list.