Friday, July 21, 2017
Today was a very exciting and also sad day. We are so proud of all the kids, but very sad to say goodbye so soon. Throughout the week the kids have learned Bible stories, done crafts, played games, learned songs, and even a play to perform for their parents. Today we got to experience the fruit of their work! During our Bible study time, the kids did an amazing job of telling the story back to us! We got to see them perform their play, and sing This Little Light of Mine for their parents. It is truly a testament to this church when Muslim's bring their children to a summer camp at a Christian church. It was incredible to realize how much of an impact we have had on them even in this short week. We were all being dragged over by kids to meet their parents, and have pictures taken. We pray that we have planted seeds in their hearts that will be watered and grow! But it is so hard to be patient. I know with every hug I gave them came a prayer. This evening we were blessed with the opportunity to have worship and Bible study with the church's youth and young adults. We had an AMAZING time in worship; just the outdoors, a guitar, our voices, and the presence of God. We spent the next hour or so sharing what God has done in our lives! It was truly inspiring! We spent our last dinner here with Natalia and Horiá who were such a blessing as our translators this week. We had the opportunity to pray over them and thank God for the blessing they are! So after all that has happened today, the best way to describe it is the classic saying, bittersweet. Saying goodbye to people we know we may never see again was so hard. As one church member put it,"I will see you later, or later." It is amazing to think we will one day be in Heaven with these people! And very sad to think that we may not see all the kids we spent time with this week in Heaven one day. It is for this reason we serve, and give all our energy and strength to plant seeds in their hearts. Now we must wait, and have faith as God causes them to grow.
Thursday, July 20, 2017
Today the kids got a break and went to the pool, and we got a break and explored the city! Many people look down on touring places and having adventures while on mission trip, but we must remember even God took the 7th day off. Although it has been a fun day of adventures, exploring bazaars, seeing Gaudi's cathedral, and buying stuff, all of us have taken life lessons out of it. First, that God answers prayers for strength! Second, that when we are all tired and it is hard to keep a good attitude, being around bright and Christ-like people sets the tone for positivity! We all fed off of each other's positive energy and kept good attitudes! Finally we discovered that at the beginning of the week, we all had a friend we stuck with, that we knew the best, but after a week of serving together, laughing together, and encouraging each other, we are ALL now close friends and hang out as one group, united in Christ! It is amazing how God uses the little things, and even fun break-day things to teach us lessons we will never forget!
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Yet again another wonderful day! We were blessed by God to have perfect timing today, whether it was taking turns handing out scripture at the bazzar, or running to catch a train! The kids are really understanding the Bible stories, and we are having so much fun telling them. Today, the 6-8 year olds drew out the story after we told it to them! We then had them copy a summary of the story onto their drawing! It was amazing to see the kids, some of whom are Muslim, draw beautiful illustrations to these Bible stories! In recreation, the boys let the kids in a game of Simon Says, the kids of therefore learning more English! During this time, we took turns passing out scripture at the bazzar with a lovely lady named Elena! Her passion is so evident, and as soon as she greets people they are more accepting to the scriptures! We were all talking tonight about how we can't wait to see everyone in Heaven who is there because she talked to them, or was even just a listening ear. We continue to pray that our influence will plant seeds in the kids' hearts, so that maybe they will understand God's love for them! It is amazing how God can use us and we not even know it. We were told by one of the helpers today that he has grown up being picked on, and feeling lonely and unaccepted. But how he has been impacted by us being here for him, spending time with him, and being his friend. Had he not told we would have never know! People are influenced by you even when you are not aware of it! So always shine His light!
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
Another amazing day today in which God continued to give us incredible ease of scheduling! The kids have gotten more comfortable around us, and even have asked us church related questions! They have grown more confident in the English questsions they ask us, and we do our best to understand. Simple games like "duck, duck, goose" and their favorite card game Uno, help them learn little English words! For crafts, the kids made dragonflies and colored! They used yesterday's craft in the music class in which they learned two verses of This Little Light of Mine! Their favorite part is definitely shouting "NO, I'm gonna let it shine", especially the 3-5 year olds! Recreation was fun and crazy as always with the game hoola-hoop basketball; pretty sure the boys used their bodies as the backboard. It is amazing to see everyone serve in the perfect role God has placed them in! And how everyone has really exemplified Jesus' servant heart!
Monday, July 17, 2017
It was such an amazing day today! Seeing how God worked all the plans together, and how He equipped us all for our jobs was truly incredible! Started off the morning singing a crazy Spanish song with the kids! Then spent an hour telling English bible stories through a translator. We then proceeded to help them learn some of the English used in the story, and even have them write it out! Recreation was a crazy, awesome, sweaty time! The boys did an amazing job planning it out! During our break we had salami and cream cheese sandwiches out of dire need. Crafts was a maraca out of a paper cup, rice, and plastic top! Brittany, Lizzie, Devyn, and Rebekah planned all our crafts for the week! Later in the week the maracas will be used for music time, in which the kids will learn "This Little Light of Mine" in English. The highlights of the day were getting to use the Spanish some of us have learned in Highschool, spending time with the kids and speaking through the universal language of God's love, watching little kids trying to teach us their language, and in general, being amazed at how God orchestrated the whole thing!
Sunday, July 16, 2017
Arrived safely in Spain today! None of us are quite sure how long we have been awake, or what size our ankles are supposed to be. After the plane ride we rode multiple trains to the church! I think we all got our workout in today on the stairs and escalators! But God is good and we were warmly welcomed by Oriole and the rest of the church leaders! After an amazing lunch, we quickly got to work planning this week's VBS-like camp, which will include English Bible story classes, recreation, crafts, English music classes, and much more! Although a couple people say they are not suffering from jet-lag, I think everyone will sleep well tonight. I cannot wait to see what God has in store for this week, and what He will do through us!