Our day started with a nice walk to the school for our morning devotions. Tom shared the story about the young man that came to the office the day we were packing totes. After that we had a wonderful breakfast of cold cereal and giant pancakes with diced fruit. I must say there is no complaint about the food.
We were given time to wander the town a bit, see the sights, shop, whatever we wished. Some stayed at the school, most went shopping in small groups. I was in a group with Karen. We visited the market then headed back down the hill. We stopped to let a tuk-tuk pass and a woman sitting on the curb asked Karen something. We could not understand well but thought she was asking if we would buy tortillas from her. Karen said “No, Gracias” and started to walk away. The lady began to cry, softly. There was a European man sitting near her and Karen asked if he knew what the woman was saying. She was asking for us to buy her a tortilla and papaya as she was very hungry. Something struck Karen about the woman and Karen reached in her pocket and gave her some money. She then told the woman the money was from God to her. More about this woman later, she ties in.
After lunch, we split into 4 groups and did home visits. I went in the truck with Tom and Kevin and Kayley to visit high school kids that go to the school but live in the next town. Those visits were special each in their own way.
The first was to see a boy in 12th grade, one of the first high school students. He has very good grades and comes to school every day, even though it is quite a distance. We found out that his parents died from alcohol abuse 6 years ago and he lives in a small place with his 5 sisters and their husbands. They are barely making it but they each take a week in turns making sure the boy, Manuel, is cared for and gets his lessons done and gets to school, etc. His plan is to become an architect and Pam says he has the grades to make it into the university. His plan is to get a job after he finishes this year to help support the family, as they have supported him so long. Once he gets a job, he will then begin classes. Unfortunately he will not be able to get a good enough job in San Pedro, so he will be in a catch-22 of sorts. We prayed for him and his family. It was a sobering visit.
Next was Adolfo. His father works as a helper building houses and his mother weaves. He has an older sister and a younger brother. The mother told us they work hard and divide the money between the children so that they can get an education and better themselves. She told us that they don’t have much and it is hard but as long as they are healthy, it works. She asked us to pray for their continued health. She also asked us to pray for the children as each has to travel a ways to school. Adolfo comes to ours, I am not sure of the brother. The sister is older and goes to another town for accounting. She last asked for us to pray for ourselves, as we, Proyecto Fe, are a gift and we come so far to help their children. Again, sobering.
The last one we missed. He had to go to a sports game he is involved with and had just left. We talked with his father for a while and prayed with him. He thanked us for visiting and asked that we see his son at the school, which we surely will. As we were driving back to the hotel, Pam pointed out a woman sitting on the curb and told us about her. She and her husband were homeless and had trouble with alcohol. Pam has met her at the soup kitchen. The husband died last week so the woman is on the streets alone now. Pam said the woman told her the husband made her drink with him and beat her if she did not. Pam said that since the husband died it is the first time she has seen the woman sober. She has even been bathing. This was the woman we met earlier on our walk about town. The one Karen felt led to give money to. I think God had his hand in that for sure. I have not had a chance to tell Karen about this yet. Maybe Tom did but I don’t know. Get ready for tears is all I can say.
Hurry up home, change clothes then, up up up up the hill to church. We were greeted well. I can tell their is some deep love for the teams that visit. We were presented to the congregation and later we were able to get up and sing two short songs for them. It was strange but even though I know only a few words, not even sentences in Spanish, I found myself engaged in the message and able to pull little bits out of it.
It poured rain during most of the service and continues to rain lightly now. We were soaked getting to dinner then soaked again getting home. I am glad I have fresh clothes to change into!