Just wanted to share a little update about last weekend's events.
The reunion with my Campos Blancos team was the most unexpected fun I've had in weeks! It seems that the stresses of leading an event prevented me from thinking of the reunion that was about to take place. Exactly a year ago to this day, we were in our campo Blanco (our special neighborhood) and we were putting on a show for the kids with the hope of drawing them a little closer to Jesus.
A year later, a year of not being together, not seeing the precious kids who have stolen our hearts, and sometimes our markers, crayons, glue, here we were reunited.
It started slow...Just Eduardo, then Fernando, his sister Hazel...then we passed by picking up Rafael and his daughter Valentina (7 years old) and Rafa's coworker, Erick. The car ride was non-stop laughter. My face hurt from laughing.
The drive-thru at Pollo Campero left the workers laughing hysterically. We pulled up and everyone started getting out of the car to walk to the other car to see what they wanted, without realizing that someone had already been out. It was just wild. After getting our food, we pulled around the corner and tossed from one car to the other the proper proportions.
We hadn't even arrived at our destination and the day felt like it was never going to end. If you have ever been part of a sports team or the driver of a group of teenagers of a sports team, you know the wildness of those car rides. That is what it felt like. On the road. Ready to work together, to love on some kids we didn't know, but we hoped would feel loved today and come to learn that there is a God who loves them too.
Rolling up to the little town, we stumbled out of the car, drunk on fun and adventure. Gathered under a tree we took a look at the giant soccer field which we would convert into our Sunday school classroom. Two teams were made- one would stay to blow up balloons and decorate, the other would walk around the quaint town announcing the event.
I obviously went to walk around, inspecting the town, and saying hello to strangers. There are no gangs, no drugs, no problems in areas such as these. Small town living we could say. Nice and quiet, everyone knows everyone. After an hour of walking, lots of "Holas" and "nos vemos alli" (see you there), and a selfie with some beautiful cows, we headed back to the soccer field.
Now if you are lost, let me explain. This small "town" has no church. Most of these people may have heard of Jesus but they never got to know Him. There is no one there to teach the bible. We joined Pastor Marcelo, who pastors a small church nearby, and received an invitation to come and teach the Bible. God gave us the opportunity to do the children's ministry. Essentially we are holding a complete church service, just outside.
The kids trickled in... by the time we wanted to begin there were about 17. At the end of our time with them, the number had doubled. It was one big group sitting in the stands, to three small groups sitting in circles learning Bible verses to three wild groups hopping in sacks and blowing the flour out of the plastic bowl trying to reveal the hidden words to make the verse memorize (John 3:16).
A breath of fresh air.
Smiles. Laughter. Kindness.
These kids have been learning virtual for a year now and have never been part of any sort of camp or Sunday school. Their excitement, obedience, and thirst to learn were like caffeine to my soul.
I couldn't decide which group I wanted to be around because everyone was having a blast. The little ones, gingerly hopped around trying to figure out the game. The older girls, focused on putting together the words and the middle-aged boys/girls were definitely trying to cheat on the sack race.
I saw life in the eyes of my team. What they had forcibly laid to rest for a year, was springing up. We were whole again, just a bunch of big kids, playing under the sun.
I have attached a bunch of pictures...I think they paint the story the best. Hope you enjoy my little rant!!