Tuesday, September 14, 2010

So much going on...

This past Friday the team from the States arrived. Our family got to take the trip to the airport at San Sal to meet them. We got to go to a mall called Metro Centro which was so much fun. I don't think I realized how isolated we'd been living till we set foot back into a giant mall. Everything was new again for us--and a little overwhelming. We enjoyed getting to purchase some twin size bed sheets, which no stores in La Palma had, and we got to do some grocery shopping at Super Selectos. And then we got to eat lunch at a food court. I personally enjoyed an Italian Chicken sandwich from Burger King. Due to some safety concerns because of issues with the transportation system last week, we had three armed police with us. Thankfully, we had no problems on the trip.

We were very excited to see the group. Among them are my parents, some old friends, and some new friends. Saturday was a busy day with a flurry of activity on the church grounds. We had some ladies' sewing classes going on, thanks to the large amount of materials that came with the group. We had two nurses seeing patients. We had one man making reading glasses for those who needed them. We had guys working on solving audio/visual issues with the church's system and making shelves for sewing materials as well as minor repairs on our house and Teresa's house. And Monte was giving haircuts using an old barber chair that was shipped down here at some point and some clippers that arrived with the group. There were so many patients seen, haircuts given, and classes taught that no one was able to keep track of a total. We enjoyed the work and the fellowship of the day and we were all exhausted by time for bed that night. We enjoyed a meal of pupusas at Reina's after the long day. It was so relaxing to be able to have so many English-speaking friends around and be able to easily communicate with them instead of having to think about sentence structure and process all my words before I can talk.

If you read my blog about our guest last Sunday morning, you won't be surprised to find out that Selena came back this Sunday for breakfast. When I heard someone knock on the gate at 8:00, I felt quite confident of who I would find this time when I opened the gate. I'd say it might be a safe bet that we'll have a Sunday morning guest quite often, if not every Sunday from now on.

Sunday morning's class was a lot of fun for me. It was the lesson of Adam and Eve's sin in the Garden of Eden. I decided to use an object lesson with the story and set up the kids to be tempted to disobey. As I began the class I began to pull things out of my bag and told them how many things I had to carry that day. I pulled out my Bible, my camera, the teaching aids from last week, and then I pulled out a container of cookies. I sat them on the desk at the front of the room and told them that I had some cookies for a special project so I couldn't give them any to eat and I needed them not to touch them. The kids all nodded and told me they understood. At this point, I pretended that I needed to run home to get something and told them I'd be right back. I had set up for Ruth to step in at this point and tempt the kids. I had told her to show a twinkle in her eyes and ask them if they wanted any cookies and to point out to them there are a lot of cookies, but do not tell them that it's okay to eat them. She evidently did well because when I came back she looked at me and told me that only two kids did not eat the cookies. (Nathan was one of the two--he didn't know what was going on with the set-up.) I looked at the kids and could see one of them chewing. I asked what they were eating and asked if they'd eaten my cookies. I could see some of them begin to hide their cookies in their laps. I told them I was very sad that they had not followed my instructions and they began to point to Ruth and blame her for having eaten the cookies. I told them that they knew the instructions and they chose to disobey but that we'd have to move on with the lesson. As I got to the end of the lesson and I pointed out that Adam and Eve both knew they weren't supposed to eat or even touch the fruit but they did anyway, just like when they ate my cookies, the object lesson "clicked" for them. One girl on the front row gasped and several began to nod their heads and one girl pointed and smiled at Ruth as if she understood Ruth's role in the whole class now. They all agreed we have to follow God's rules and not listen to Satan when he tries to tempt us to do wrong. As the kids worked on making their snakes with the memory verse on them, I gave everyone another cookie and gave the two that didn't eat earlier a bonus cookie.

Sunday afternoon we accompanied the group to Ocotepeque. They are working there this week on the new church building with Jorge. My mom returned with us and is staying with us for the week, but we were sad to say goodbye to the rest of the group. We had planned on going over there today but due to some transportation complications we were unable. Hopefully we will go over on Thursday, when Monte is scheduled to preach there for the evening services. Meanwhile, my mom is helping to sort the donations that the group brought as well as the clothes and items that she brought and getting a taste of daily life in La Palma.

Tomorrow will be a huge day all across Central America and we will enjoy the local festivities as they celebrate their Independence Day. In the morning will be the parade followed by shows in the park by the different schools. I always love watching the Christian school in the parade and feel so proud of the kids--"our kids"--as they march by us.

I'll be sure to take plenty of pictures tomorrow and will post some on here and more on Facebook. It's going to be a long but wonderful day.


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