June 13, 2016 Larissa Daruge First UMC Orlando

Today was that bittersweet time of our trip when our expectations actually become memories, and we realize most our days here have passed. After we gathered for devotional, we packed our things and moved to a new location, which is much more comfortable for all of us. Later, we had breakfast at Sairy’s house, and once again she and her entire family were incredibly receptive.After breakfast, we went to Cuesta Arena for the second day of Bible School and continued the story of Joseph and how he overcame his difficulties in life – how his struggles became his strengths, and how his love for God did not for a moment fade away in face of adversity. The children then all grabbed books to read to us. As they were reading, it was thrilling to see how our personal attention encouraged them to evolve and try harder. One of the girls, Daniela, did not know how to read at all, and although it was hard to teach her from scratch the basics, she kept interested and eager to learn.

Meanwhile, some other kids showed their enthusiasm by aiding other missionaries in their own tasks; Christian, for instance – one of the boys of Cuesta Arena – worked hard to help Tom finish building the shelves needed for the school. Alexi and a boy formed an unusual bond and broke language barriers by teaching each other English and Spanish at the same time. Justin helped another boy, Anderson, overcome his own emotional struggles and see his place in the Bible School through a brighter light by doing something incredibly simple – a jigsaw puzzle.

All that, of course, in the unique and loving Dominican way of living: among hugs and holding hands.

When all kids went home, we had lunch and went straight to Los Cocos, where we were supposed to do the second day of Bible School. Although all of us had prepared exactly what to say and how to say it, the overwhelming sound of rain and the fact that the kids could not leave because of the storm forced us to improvise and entertain them with biblical songs. Thanks to God, fortunately, the energy of Sarah, Alex, Audrey, and the great people who work here in Bible school kept the children paying attention to the word of God.

After rain passed, we went home and discussed much of what we could get from our experience in this trip. It was interesting to se how the way we are dedicating ourselves to God now changes completely our perspective in every aspect of life; our relationship to others, with ourselves, and most of all, with each other.

Tomorrow is our last day at Cuesta Arena, and I am sure our hearts will be broken in a confusingly beautiful way when we leave.

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