I always talk about how present God is in this community. Not only is His present current, but it was present long before. He was working in Cuesta Arena long before calling me to be apart of His plan. Though I often complain about God working too slow for me, I know His timing is perfect. Sairy always tells me I have to walk with God not in front of Him.
Here is a great example of God’s presence long before I even though about mission work. Today we painted the sign for the school. The cool thing about this sign is that it was painted 10 years ago by missionaries. It represented a dream by the pastor to have a school in this community. It represented hope in the community for something bigger than what was present. I love that they used the symbol of the rainbow. The Bible tells us of God’s promise to us (Old sign to the left)
Today we freshened up the paint to put up in front of the school. We kept the basic structure and idea but renewed it. The school will be call Centro de Formacion Cristiana (Center of Christian Formation) to broaden the idea of just a school. The plan is in the future to have classes for the parents, to have tutoring, a library, and so much more than just a school. We added a butterfly made of the children’s hands to remind the children of the change God makes in each of us. There will be another one on the bottom right and side. The two purple hand prints at the bottom are those of Ashley and her mom’s to symbols the inclusion of not just the children but also their families.
An example of God’s perfect timing is in a little girl named Ashley. In 2008, one of my first trips to Cuesta Arena, I held a little girl, 4 months old. Her name was Ashley. When they placed her in my arms, I knew she was different than the other babies I had held. She looked deep into my eyes and I remember feeling the presence of God. Through her eyes, I knew I was where God was calling me to be. It was a simple act of holding a child, but I forever remember the moment that left my eyes watery and heart filled with joy. Over the years, I never knew exactly what happened with this little baby. I knew that as time passed I would not recognize her if I saw her walking in the community. This past summer, a little 4 year old named Ashley (not very common name in this community or culture) started appearing when missionaries came to work. When the missionaries pointed her out, I knew instantly it was the same girl. She had the same deep brown eyes and a smile the lights up the room. Ashley, is now one of our students in the school. Her hands are on the new sign along with her mother’s and represent to me the amazing work of God’s plan. Today as we cleaned up from painting and it was time to go home Ashley did not want to leave. She is excited for the school to open on Monday and her and her mom have been there very day to help us paint and clean. After 4 years, I now have a chance to hear this little girl call my name every time she sees me and teach her of God’s amazing love, something she once taught me!