Nicaragua Missions Day 2
If day one was an eye opener, day two was good follow through, although I was a bit worried when I saw the kids trolling the dump first thing in the morning. But as we drove by, they stopped, smiled and waved. We again started the day with the plan of building two houses. We divided back up into teams, split up and got to work. Our team managed to finish our house by about 12:30 which was a perfect transition into the first day of vacation bible school.Our plan was to open up the school to 50 kids, all invites by the pastor, Marcos. An hour before the doors opened kids were already showing up. The church had one solid wall and three gated walls, with a concrete floor, a very nice building by the neighborhood standard. Unfortunately the one solid wall blocked the wind we so craved. Somehow the 50 kids grew to 68, not unexpected and not unplanned for.
The first activity of the day was to make and color a paper airplane. Our plan was to teach them how, which was quickly abandoned because of the sheer volume of tiny, tanned, dirty faces surrounding the table reaching out for just a bit of attention and love. It was if we had food to give and they were starving;tiny dirty fingers poking and prodding all over, ” no tengo” they would squeek, pointing at a blank piece of paper as if it was a small treasure. So we made paper airplanes for them as fast as we could, and they colored them to make them their own. A story of Christ’s birth was then shared before moving on to snack time. Snack time was the quietest most peaceful time of the day. My theory, they had been trained already by the daily provided lunch, sit quietly, patiently and you will be fed.
At times it was chaotic, it was always loud, and it was hot muggy and uncomfortable. Even the kids were saying they were thirsty. But similar to yesterday you could see the joy in the kids eyes and the excitement and glow in their faces. It was not easy to look past the ill-fitting filthy clothes, or the dirt stained faces, but the smiles and their eyes really brought a level of warmth to my heart. I could not take enough pictures of their faces. But my heart still hurt for the hundreds of kids that were not able to attend. It still felt like this was a band-aid, just a temporary fix, and it left me longing to do more.
There were some fantastically bright shining moments such as when I told them that they had done ” my bien” or very good coloring their airplane. they would repeat it to themselves and tell their friends, smiling ear to ear. And quickly show me any more improvements for another tidbit of praise. Or they joy they took looking at the myriad of photos I took of them. Or the simple things like when one of the teen girls with us washed their hands, and afterward they smelled their hands in joy. I know these are small things, and to me they don’t mean much, but it is what we can do and I have to deal with that. Perhaps, in time, I will be able to do much more, but for now I must just enjoy the moment for what it is, a memory for them and another life changing moment for me.