Part of me wants to provide a history lesson and the other part begs a poem. What to do? Morning devotions as a team set the tone for our day. We met Chester, our interpreter and a welcome conversation partner throughout the day. Chester works for VIM here in Guatemala. His English is great, the result of growing up with friends who were one-half Latin American and one-half American.
We dropped Robin (our dentist from Columbia First United Methodist) along with B.J. and Jeanne off at the dental clinic. More reunions happened as this is the site of a long VIM (Volunteers in Mission) project of the United Methodist Church, and particularly of our congregation.
The clinic was once a church. The building was purchased by the Methodists and a medical/dental clinic emerged. The need for dental care is significant. Even as we rode the bus through town, one young boy shouted “dentist” from the street. Soon after we arrived at the clinic the line of families started. We met Maria, Beatrice, and many others.
Maria surprised me when, after we had been “talking” (as much as a non-Spanish speaking lady speaks to a non-English speaking lady) for 10 minutes or so she shifts something on her shoulder and out pops Joseph, a 9 month old baby! It was a bit like a magic trick and when I laughed she joined in. Her daughter, 17 year old Beatrice, was needing dental care.
Language need not be a strong barrier. Today has been one encounter with children and youth after another and with a few smiles, and a word or two here and there, we’ve been able to work side by side.
My “assistant” for the first half of the day was Marvin, who I think was 10. He was great and teachable enough to learn how to drill screws into the trusses we were building today. Our project is adding a roof onto two new rooms for the school. Today’s goal on site was 4 trusses and that happened. Sarah was able to obtain permission for our Vacation Bible School efforts for the next 6 days – 120 kids each day in two separate shifts. This way all the children will experience it. The story is about the lost sheep. Please pray for us. We’ve learned that the principal desires for the children to learn more about the faith.
Please pray specifically that we will find simple words to add to the story that will teach them a bit more. The Spirit is able to equip us in this way – but we NEED your prayers. I am burdened about this tonight. Honestly…how does a pastor not have the language to share more? Hard to accept my gap in this.
Thomas cooked a FABULOUS meal tonight of beans, guacamole, fresh salsa, salad and peach crisp. I know…makes you hungry, doesn’t it? It was so good. At night we have lots of dishes to wash and then making lunches for the next day. It is peaceful and good.
The children were everywhere with us as we worked today. The watched and helped. Calvin is a big mystery to all of them and his hair a topic of much chatter and delight. He has been fabulous with the children. Henry worked with us today and assisted Calvin in some of the drilling screws into the braces to make the trusses. This school is one where our team has worked for years. It’s super nice.
As I am learning, these projects lay dormant until a team with money comes to do the next step. Our goal this week is to put roofs on the two rooms, in addition to VBS for 120 children each day. It seems doable, albeit with much sweat and energy. No one is complaining; there is much joy in the work. And that’s really how Steve Fulton started us this morning with devotions….that all of our work and all of our rest, would be done with the joy of Christ.