Peace

We were at Moises Starkman school today, teaching two grade one classes and then grades 2-6. As our theme for the school year is the fruit of the spirit, each month is a different “fruit”. This month our focus is “PEACE.
To start things off, Taylore had the children sing the song we taught them last month…but with a twist. She had the girls sing it one time and the boys…to see who could be the loudest! Then she taught them a new song, which I kind of think they already knew. That old song “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart” But instead of joy, they sang peace. They loved it! In each class everyone was so enthusiastic…some classes were a little more over the top than the others.
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We did a couple object lessons, one using a tug of war game,another using a paper chain, and Dale did an object lesson where he cut an anchor out from paper. All of these centered around Peace. We also did the story in the Bible of how Jesus calmed the storm and brought peace to a bad situation.
We talked about storms in their lives, difficult things they may be going through, and how they don’t have to go through these things alone. Jesus is with us and he can bring peace to the difficult things they have to deal with. Believe me, many of these kids face difficult things every day, day in and day out. Things that to kids in North America, would be unheard of.

Today was also Father’s day. In one class room there was a boy, who held in his hand a hand made card, that I assume he had made. It was a small white square with red hearts that read “día de padre feliz!” Throughout the class, the boy seemed so sad. His eyes were red and Kathy and I could tell he had been crying. Actually he continued to cry on and off throughout the time that we were in his classroom, all the while holding onto that card. I was the closest to him so at one point I was rubbing his back, trying to comfort him, wishing I knew enough Spanish to ask him what was wrong. That seemed to make things worse and he put his head on his desk and continued to cry all the more. I wanted to cry with him. He seemed to have so much pain in his young heart. Even now I want to cry for him. I don’t know his story, his past. I knew he was having a rough day. I wondered though if he was one of the many children who no longer have a dad. I wondered if either the dad had abandoned them or been killed as is the case with some of those children. What a difficult day today would be for those kids. Kids who maybe have never known a dad or who have lost him.

Even in difficult situations we don’t have to be alone. Jesus cares about us. He promises never to leave us, fail us or abandon us. He promises that he will always be with us. He doesn’t promise there will never be hard times, we know there will be. There will be storms in our lives, times where we don’t know what to do, where to turn. There will be times of sorrow. Times where we are hurting like the young boy today in the classroom. Yet through all the storms in our lives, we can remember that Jesus will give us peace in the midst of difficulty. We can cry out to Him and He will walk through those storms with us. We don’t have to be alone.

Team Millbrook

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This past week we have had a team with us from Millbrook. What a hard working and energetic group of people!  The team was divided into two groups. One half worked on renovating a home in the area. There was a lot of hard work that was involved. For example; mixing cement by hand on the ground, hauling heavy rocks, breaking large rocks into smaller ones, so that the foundation could be formed. The next day or so later a cement mixer came which made the work load so much easier!

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The second half of the team was the ministry team. They taught the children a catchy song with awesome dance moves. There were a couple skits involved, an object lesson, as well as a refresher on the fruits of the Spirit. Not to mention some amazing flowers, fruits and animals that were made out of balloons. The ministry team were a hit with the children. They absolutely loved them!  In fact some of the kids chanted “Otra Vez, Otra vez!” after the song was finished…which means “Again,  Again!”
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Also this week, the feeding program started up again. Since school began back in February, they have been serving government food. The government supplies 60 days a year of food. When that food runs out, we come in and our food is served. We supply the food, but the moms come in to prepare and serve it. It’s a partnership.

 It was very moving to see. I was standing there with Kathy. It was her first time seeing the feeding program in action, as the children lined up one class at a time, washed their hands and then went to receive their lunch of tortillas, rice and beans. As Kathy said; “This is what it’s all about, it’s about being the hands and feet of Jesus”  Hungry children are being fed! It’s not just the need for physical food that is being met; but the opportunity to be in the classrooms sharing the gospel also means a spiritual need is being met.

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Just around the corner from the house that is being renovated there is a pulperia. So, each day at 2pm, the tired and weary people working on the house, took a well deserved pepsi break.

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Much was accomplished this week through this team. Great headway has been made on this home for an amazing family in the community. It was a pastor in the area that recommended them as they were a hard working, honorable family who love the Lord with all they have. They are faithful to the Lord. Infact even the family was on site, pitching in, contributing to the work on the home. 
I will never forget the moment that we told the family they had been chosen for a “new” home. The mom covered her face with her hands and began to weep. The father of the house, kept saying ” there are no words..” And he gave glory to God. He was so blessed by this team, not only for the gift of a new renovated home, but also by the hymn singing that went outside his house by some of the team members.  He has had a very rough time lately. Yet through it all, he has remained steadfast.  What faith!  I could go on and on and tell you more about this family I have come to love and respect. I am in awe of them! Kathy wrote a beautiful post that says it all. So in closing I will add a link to her blog where you can read all about them. After reading her take on it, I am sure you will agree that they are deserving of the precious gift Millbrook has given them.

http://pkmizen.wordpress.com/2014/03/15/more-from-this-week/

 

Isaiah 58:10
Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.

Taylore

This is Taylore. We first met her back in January at the Panama retreat. It was her first stop on her way to Honduras to be one of our two interns. She is a Newfoundland gal, studying at a bible college in Alberta.

One of my favorite photos that I took of her captures her heart. The one where she was chatting with a little girl named Dahlin, and they sat talking to one another even though there was a language barrier.  She taught Dahlin how to say “How are you?” Even though there is a language barrier she is not afraid to sit down with the children and talk. And as far as language goes, she is doing amazing at communicating. She spends time with these kids, whether it be kicking a ball around with them, throwing stones at a target on a cement wall or just sitting and talking with them. The kids adore her!

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Taylore talks to everyone. She is very much a people person; chatting with everyone;  students, teachers, parents, and security guards, with the Spanish that she knows.  And if she doesn’t know how to say something; she will ask!  There is one funny story that happened where the security guard named Juan Pablo, who’s dog named Canela ( in English- Cinnamon) comes to the school with him. He was feeding Canela one day and Taylore was impressed by that. I guess because the majority of the dogs in that area run around loose and are so scrawny, it is obvious they  have not eaten in a while. Taylore wanted to say, “I like that you feed your dog”  But that isn’t what she said. What she actually said was something to this effect…” I like that you eat dog”   Today Taylore was chatting with him again and I was near by. He was remembering what she had said to him that day and he had a good laugh about it.  I love that she takes time for people; to really get to know them. Yesterday she was talking with the gentleman of a house that the team from Millbrook is renovating. ( More about that in another post!) They chatted for a long time. It was heart warming. I think it meant a lot to that gentleman as well.

She is not afraid to try new things. Take making tortillas for instance. She wanted to learn how to make them, and so she asked. Melissa showed her how and she made her own tortillas one day! Another thing she wanted to try was coca cola in a bag!  Many times when you go to a pulperia to purchase a beverage, it if is in a glass bottle, they will pour the pop into a baggie with a straw and keep the bottle. One day she tried that too.

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There was one time where she was asked to lead a devotional and was given no prior warning. She did it, and it was a very timely word for that day.  Taylore excels at whatever she sets her hands to do. Doing whatever is asked of her even though it may be out of her comfort zone.  Dale will ask certain things of her when we are in a classroom teaching on the Fruit of the Spirit, such as telling the story.  Taylore steps in and does amazing.

I know her time here has been a real time of stretching, but I also know she has learned a lot; especially when it comes to the language. We are fortunate to have her with us a little longer. But time has a way of passing very fast, and soon Taylore will be leaving us,  and heading back to school to graduate. I am going to miss her, and I say with all honestly I am blessed for having known her.  She inspires me to step out of that comfort zone and talk to more people, try new things and to not hold back. I don’t know what God has in store for Taylore in the future. I don’t know where her path will take her. But I do know this. I can’t wait to see where He takes her and how He uses her!