The Bambu is beginning to feel a lot like “home” to me. I’m back in Mazatenango and thankful to be in familiar surroundings for a night or two. I know how to get taxis, clothing, money, and good pizza here. Tonight the women at the desk learned how little Spanish it really takes to communicate: “I have a document I need to scan and email to myself and this is really important to me”. I need all of this experience and by the grace of God others are willing to let me get it!
I visited La Toma today. There were no classes because it is a day for the teachers to sell the artistic works of the children to raise money for the schools. Felix joined Doris and me early and we walked around and talked of future projects.
We looked at the land where the vision for a community center is evolving. I shot some video of it (very amateur) and we dreamed out loud. And… Jenny showed up.
Jenny was the last picture I took when the bus rolled out of La Toma
with our team on March 7, 2011. When I posted her picture I said, “I will not forget you”. I saw her in April and today, with no school in session, she showed up as if she knew my arrival time before I did. I was carrying a picture of the two of us in my backpack; I knew we would see each other this trip. She is well dressed and sweet – looking for hope. She gave me a picture of herself earlier this year with a note of hope for a scholarship so she can stay in school and learn. That’s Jenny.
The land for the community center is all jungle now and a beautiful spot. The project will be a joint effort of the Metodista Church and the La Toma School and community. It is a dream Norris has been working on for many years and it seems its time has come. I have a second meeting next week where we
will speak more of the next steps. It will be a long-term project and the ideas
of it’s scope are far far reaching. It’s a God-sized dream. It is a project of
collaboration and peace. It is a project that will allow us to foster learning of many types…art, music, health, biblia, computer, leadership, environment…etc., etc. It will be a space for sharing, learning and engaging in multi-cultural
experiences. It will be a place for peace to happen and for people to grow in their understanding across cultures.
After this we went to Parque Central of San Antonio to meet up with Ana, the principal of the La Toma school. It was SO GOOD to see her! Claudia, one of the teachers was there as well. I purchased several items that the children made and these will be for sale at Franklin’s “Celebration of Cultures” on September 24th.
Love is a tender thing. It is so full of joy and so full of sorrow. C.S. Lewis gave us a quote that never leaves me. “The pain I feel now is the happiness I had before. That’s the deal.” We saw Douglas today. He is the little boy with eye cancer. Thanks to the generosity of one or two people, Douglas had surgery and has been doing very well. But today when we called to visit him, he was gone to see the doctor. We tracked him down and were able to be with his mom when she met with the doctor and received the news that Douglas is very sick… his cancer has spread to the brain. It was heart breaking. Felix and I lay hands on him and prayed with him and his family. We prayed for God’s healing miracle in the life of Douglas and his family. Being here at this moment was a gift of God. Doris has grown very close to this family and to Douglas. It has changed everything for her; a job has become a way of life. Doris grew up in the Metodista Church. Juan Pablo has always been her pastor. Lately Doris finds herself knee-deep in God’s miracles and the life of the people. It works. We are asking all of you to pray for Douglas – for his health, his life on earth and his family. It’s OK to ask for a miracle, so please do.
Our last “official” stop of the day was Halo Guatemala, the deaf school where Ezekiel attends twice each week. They have moved since I was here in April…a larger facility and with a yard to play. Jose showed us around and also presented me with an 8 x 10 picture of the large group of kids our church helped send to Guatemala for free hearing assessments AND their own hearing devices from Ronald McDonald back in July. It was a great meeting and much appreciation expressed by everyone. Friendships are being formed. Our church is making a way for deaf children to learn and grow in their communication skills. I am so thankful for the church – for willing hearts and generous spirits. It is making a huge difference. Tomorrow I hope to visit Ezekiel in his home and deliver a special drawing from John Overstreet, a boy in our congregation in Franklin who wears the same hearing devices as Ezekiel. It has connected these two young boys. Someday they will meet face to face.
So tonight it is the Bambu. I hear the sound of big trucks pulling the hill, the water of the pool running strong and the heartbeat of God offering breath every second; it is good and I am thankful. Let it be.