It has been a busy last few days so I apologize for not sending a post yesterday but I will attempt to summarize and share the last 2 days with you this morning.
Day 3 - Good Gifts.
Monday was a day that I have anticipated for the last 3 years. It came with some fear and much excitement. What do I mean? I have spent the last 3 years building "relational capital" with my now dear friends, the pastors of the church here. It was made evident to me on my first trip in 2013 the lack of access to good materials and purposeful training for the pastors and leadership. God really burdened my heart to be a part of that solution. For the last few years I have been laying the groundwork for helping them make some changes in areas of their ministry, through many conversations and prayers. This trip was the time to put some of those plans into action. I wanted to offer some observations on potentially helpful approaches to their ministry. This is both the fearful, yet exciting part. I feared I might come across arrogant and critical in my suggestions. Many hours of talking, planning and praying have preceded our meeting Monday morning, and I have to say I am thrilled that they accepted with open arms what was presented! They acknowledged some areas where they have struggled and want help, and the great part is I had something to offer. So rejoice with me that our "seeds" have found fertile soil, but continue to pray as we continue in our work together to help them build a healthy church that Glorifies God. This has been a good gift from God.
While this meeting above was going on Jessica and Brad were working alongside the team in CDI. They have both been such a blessing to me and the staff, displaying a servant's heart and working very hard where they can. They have played games, helped in classrooms and washed dishes, to name a few. It is a long day in 95 degree heat, where your brain feels like it's going to explode as you try to communicate with a 100 + kids shouting your name and wanting your attention! Pray for them!
Day 4 - Sweet Fellowship
Tuesday was another full day in CDI. We went to each of the classes, and Jessica led several AWANA games with the kids. The screams of joy filled the cafeteria as the kids ran around the circle and raced for colored pins and beanbags. Brad is making friends fast as he towers over everyone we have met. They do not have the name Brad down here so it is difficult for them to say. That is until someone suggests, "like Brad Pitt?" YES! Now he is affectionately our "Brad Pitt."
When the day was over at CDI we went back to Heather's house and continued to work on painting the nursery and Brad installed another ceiling fan. Things are shaping up and I am glad we have had this time helping get ready for the baby and be a small part of the preparations.
This work was followed by some souvenir shopping. Then we were able to take our host family out for supper. This was a sweet time of fellowship, many stories and much laughter was exchanged. Once again I was reminded of the fact that love transcends culture and language. Another good gift from God!