Today, we woke up and Nancy shared an amazing devotion out of a book of poems, very similar in style to the psalms. We then prepared our sandwiches and headed out for the day to Cuesta Arena. We stopped by the church to pick up church members and Dr. Vanessa who would join us for the next two days. When we arrived, the dentists from the public health were already there and set up. We arrange the clinic, making sure everything was in order and then got working with the children and construction. The guys worked to mix and pour concrete into the post for the basketball hoop. Chen worked with the kids on various crafts. I don’t know the numbers from the clinic but they were busy all day.
We broke for lunch and then I walked with Larry, Gary, and Lake to show them the community. Today I got to see most of the kids, either in the afternoon or in the morning. After the walk, Larry and I sat down with Juancito (he now prefers Juan, even though he will always be Juancito to me) and talked a little about Juan’s story. Larry is writing an article for their local paper in Venice and felt like Juan’s story was impactful. Larry asked Juan questions and I translated. Juan is still shy and reserved so I encouraged him to talk about the pieces I knew. I realized he didn’t remember much about his mom, Maria, or doesn’t feel comfortable talking about her. I reminded him of her love for God and how he used to always come to church with her decorated with the crosses and bracelets given to him by the missionaries. His answers were short but meaningful. The church and the school had made a significant impact on his life and without them his life would be “bad”. We reflected on the impact missionaries, specifically David, who spent time with him reading and teaching him letters and words. He reported that he previously did not like math but since being in the tutoring program, his freshman year he was the best student in his math class. He is currently in the 12th grade and will graduate this school year. He desires to go to the university to study to be a construction engineer.
As we packed up the supplies and loaded up the bus, Kelfi and I talked about building another swing set for the kids. We brought another swing and some rings for the kids to play on. After we dropped off the team for rest, showers, and dinner, Kelfi, Henry, Carla, Juan and I went to 8A to get the supplies for a swing set. Tomorrow we are back in Cuesta Arena. There is a lot to do and lots of kids to love on.