Buenas tardes! What a day! We were woken up at 5:45am, and set off for an elementary school. We were presenting in their chapel. What an experience!
The rain is gorgeous, so constant and smooth, like a blanket- you can't even hear it falling!
So, at the school we wore headsets so that we could understand what they were saying. Les Peters had a microphone and translated everything said, and it came through over our headsets. Incredible.
They started singing, and the tears came. I was SO overwhelmed, you wouldn't believe! The moment they began singing, their Spanish little voices filled the whole room, and it was 10x louder than our churches. SO COOL!
We were told that the vast majority of them come from broken homes, abusive families, and sicknesses. On average, each child has approximately 5 abscesses on their teeth! They are so poor, they have so little and yet, they sing ten times louder than our healthy and wealthy churches. It was the perfect example of worship.
They were aged 4-9ish, I believe. And almost all of them had their eyes closed, hands up, and voices raised. We think we're the ones teaching them? Oh, no. They taught me so so so so much.
I cried so hard. Every morning they have a chapel like that, and they bring all their SERIOUS troubles and turts and burdens before the Lord, praising Him wholeheartedly.
The funny thing was, while our whole team was weeping from being so touched, the little children would turn and watch us, so very confused. They looked at us as if to say, "Why are you crying?" It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it.
By the world's standards, we, in Canada, have some of the richest people. We are... "blessed" with clothes, food, money, technology, ease. Down here in Guatemala, these people are considered "poor..." by the world's standards. So according to the world's logic, we North Americans should be the happiest and the Guatemalans should be the saddest. But look who's praising and singing the loudest! Why? Because by GOD'S standards, these Guatemalans are the richest, and we Canadians are the poorest! And I'm talking in terms of our Spiritual wealth. Shouldn't we, who have so much be singing the loudest? Aren't we more "blessed?" On the contrary. I think we have plenty of unimportant things, for sure. We have unimportance in abundance!here they have plenty of the IMPORTANT things- the things that will matter in eternity. Maybe they are more blessed after all, for they are always recognizing their need for Jesus, thus their worship and prayer life is enhanced. In Canada, we have everything. We don't have to rely on God for necessities (or so we think).
Straight afterward, we went to visit the medical clinic. So simplistic, but does the people so much good. Attached to the medical clinic was another school. This was where we were to present the Lost Coin Dance, sing "Feliz," and do a craft with the kids: a paper plate tambourine.
It went smoothly overall. Lily and I were the leaders of a group of 7 kids or so. I got to know a few girls in particular: Ingrid, Mildred, and one other whose name cannot be pronounced (be English folk like me). It was cool! Wherever I went, they would cling to me. Always hugging. At the end, one of them gave me a kiss! Definitely a highlight. I love these kids.
Later, we came back to that 2nd school to help with some construction going on there. It was basically levelling a dirt and rocky floor with shovels, rakes, and pick-axes. We would hack away at the old cement and junk, load up our 3 wheelbarrows, and dump it into the back of a small truck. Well, it took about 10 minutes or less to load up the truck each time,but it took at least half an hour for the truck to return empty. So, as you can imagine, the waits between loading times were long and boring. So one of the times, a bunch of school boys were kicking around a soccer ball. My mum and Mrs. Brown joined in and easily persuaded me to come along. It was so much fun, even though they totally pwned us. Their feet were lightning quick. They made everything look so easy by literally running circles around us!
We went to the Peters' house for dessert- cake and the best tea I've ever had! It was homemade lemongrass and cinnamon. Mm-mmm!
Since it was Canada Day, they had us set off firecrackers- they were unbelievably loud- like gunshots!
We debriefed and shared our highlights together. Most talked about hugging the kids. (At the school, after we finished dancing in their chapel, we stood in a line and the children walked through and hugged every one of us.)
I talked about the irony of their passionate, joyful, loud singing despite their poverty, as compared to our half-hearted, reluctant muttering despite our wealth.
It's been a busy busy day- full to the brim! I can't wait to have a good rest tonight, and an exciting day tomorrow! Buenas Noches!