Monday, April 26, 2010

The weekend

This weekend we were hardly home. On Saturday, Abraham and I went to church mid-morning for an activity with the junior high youth group that we began leading in January. It is a small group with only four regular members, although sometimes others stay after OANSA (AWANA) on Wednesday for the youth group.

One day, the high school youth group and the junior high youth group began talking about having a competition. Abraham and I talked with Mario, the high school leader, and arranged a competition from the Bible book of Joel. From then on, we've been studying with the junior highers, and Saturday was the final preparation for the competition on the 28th.

Of course, it wasn't all study. When we arrived, the musicians were still practicing for Sunday worship, so we went to the kitchen to teach the kids how to play Mastermind. They all enjoyed it, although at first some of them were also frustrated.

After some time of playing, we broke out the snacks and began studying. We don't know exactly what kinds of questions there will be, but the kids have been (supposedly anyway) reading Joel every day since we planned the competition, and we've been practicing together. Have you ever seen a video of a plague of locusts? It looks awful!

Once we had gone over all the questions, the musicians had finished practicing in the sanctuary. We set up the projector and started the movie G-Force. Only one of the group had seen the movie, and they all enjoyed it.

At 4:15, as soon as we finished the event with the junior highers, we caught two buses to visit my brother-in-law in the hospital. Six called us at about 1 in the morning to say he had been admitted because of a kidney stone. When we arrived in the afternoon, I met one of our nieces and one nephew for the first time. We stayed at the hospital until night, and then went downtown to eat a late dinner. It was after 10 when we finally returned home.

At Dios es Amor, one of the recently married young ladies had her baby two weeks ago. He was born three weeks early, but he is healthy. The doctors had to do a cesarean section because Nathan was breach, and unfortunately, Jasmin's stitches became infected. She only recently returned home from several days in the hospital, and the doctors had to perform a hysterectomy on her. Please pray that she continues to heal well.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

SAT testing and a kermés

My students at PCS are submerged in SAT testing. For them, this means three days of back-to-back tests, filling in scantron bubbles and trying to stay focused. Tomorrow is their final day, and in the afternoon we'll make Mother's Day projects for a break.

On Saturday a team came from the United States to help out at church. They have a smallish budget, but they wanted to do a carnival for the children. Our pastor's wife suggested that, rather than try to make the budget fit the larger crowds at Dios es Amor, they set up the kermés in Huejotzingo instead. April 30th is when Day of the Child is celebrated here, so we decided to have the kermés be an early celebration for the Huejo kids.

The Sunday previous, Abraham and I went with a group of eager helpers to distribute fliers in the neighborhood. We hung posters on light poles and pushed smaller invitations under doors or handed them to passersby. Two of the kids couldn´t quite get the name right. Rather than ask for more 'invitaciones' to pass out, one of them requested 'habitaciones' (rooms) and the other 'decisiones' (decisions). However, whether they knew the right word or not, the kids were a great help in spreading the word.

On the rainy Saturday before the carnival, Abraham and I returned to put up more posters and pass out more invitations. We stuck bunches of balloons with the posters. When we passed by the posters on our way to return home, we saw that not a single balloon was left. The kids simply love balloons, and having them stuck to the posts was too much of a temptation to bear.

Sunday was bright and clear. The U.S. team, along with many people from Dios es Amor, packed game supplies and prizes into four vehicles. When we arrived in Huejotzingo, children and some parents were already gathered, ready for the fun.

And fun it was. Throughout the afternoon, more people arrived. They played pin the tail on the donkey, tossed beanbags through a target, made wordless bracelets, and much more. After an hour of play, everyone gathered inside to hear the meaning of the wordless bracelet from Abraham. Three of the U.S. team members also gave their testimonies.

After the brief message, some people went back to the games while others lined up for their deluxe hot dogs. After another hour of play and food, it was time to pack up the vans and head back to church.

Please continue to pray for the families in Huejotzingo. Also continue to pray that, if it's God's will for Abraham and I to live there, he will provide the finances to buy land and construct and also let us know when the right time is to move.