Everyone woke and made it to the terrace for the morning devotions led by Sarah. She talked about Cuesta Arena and the state it was in several years ago. The children were so preoccupied with worries about life, they weren’t really able to enjoy it. We learned about their circumstances and the changes that had occurred since she and Cyri, the pastor of the church there, had begun working with them. Sarah used a verse from Romans 12:3-13 that talked about hope and encouraged everyone as we went to work for the first day to look for places that they saw hope.
At Cuesta Arena, there were three main work areas. The first was digging an underground cistern to hold clean water for the people of the community. This is a great necessity as the water currently available to the people is contaminated with many things. Two previous attempts to build wells proved unsuccessful due to the severe contamination even 150 feet deep. We were truly blessed by working with several youth & adults from the community. Even our bus drivers offered some assistance!
The second area is a mission house currently under construction. We took the dirt from the cistern hole and used it to raise the floor level of the house. This required the use of many feet and cinderblocks to flatten it out.
The third way we were able to help was to play with the kids from the community and show them the love of Christ through a multitude of activities. We played sports, drew with sidewalk chalk, painted nails, braided hair, and provided numerous piggyback rides.
On Wednesday, the group took a long walk after lunch to see the agriculture of the area. The walk ended up being a little bit longer than anyone anticipated but we all truly enjoyed the sights and learning more about the lives of those we were serving.
Thursday afternoon we went to the market in order to purchase gifts for family, friends and possibly ourselves. Sarah had one shop owner that she trusted more than others so our whole group filed in and out of the shop to purchase our souvenirs.
Thursday evening had us rehearsing at the church in Santiago with a choir from Haiti that we will be performing with on Saturday night. They have rehearsed a few songs together and it should be a great and uplifting event. We are looking forward to bringing praise to God through music and breaking cultural and racial barriers.
Everyone has loved the work so far even though it can be quite tiring! We hope to finish the cistern on Friday and will leave the concrete work to the construction manager there. Saturday will have us going to different locations throughout the city singing and handing out flyers to promote the concert while seeing a bit more of the city.
That’s all for now but continue to keep us in your prayers. God bless!