Wow. What a day. It was a hot, dirty, wild, crazy, heartbreaking, heartwarming, incredible day. We spent they day working with the Oasis school, which is located just a few blocks from the dumpground. We started the morning working with the pre-K through 3rd graders. It was, how shall we say it – chaotic. The morning was a good learning time for us. Basically we learned that the setup of the school and the make-up of the age groups kind of caused our plan to not work so well. However – the kids had a blast. We ran and played and laughed and got incredibly hot and dirty. I loved it. I’m kind of use to the crazy chaos caused by wild kids, so I wasn’t phased much. Here’s me doing some tricks next to Angel, our interpreter.
Here’s Cheryl. I love this picture, because this is basically what she did all day – hug little kids desperately in need of love. Cheryl is amazing at this and I love to see it.
Me and Samuel. He’s quite a mess and spent most of the time climbing on all us guys.
We left for lunch, but Wayne first took us through the dump ground. I was prepared to see what I saw, yet I wasn’t. Heaps of the city’s trash that the people of the neighborhood spend scavanging through every day to eat or sell. In the midst of the trash are lines of tiny shacks where people live. Where many of those sweet kids we had spent the morning playing with lived. Unimaginable. And these kids know nothing else. This, to them, is life. Surviving one day to the next. Hoping not to be kidnapped or raped or robbed or beaten. That’s their life. Thank God for people like Wayne and Elaine who have dedicated their lives to showing these kids that they are worth more than the trash they dig through. These kids have hope. Hope in the midst of the filth and the fear. I’ll never forget what I saw today. And like Chad Mahan told me this evening – though it was heartwrenching, I don’t want to forget what I saw.
This afternoon, we regrouped and changed up our schedule for the 4th-6th graders. We kept the kids in their classrooms, which were a little more confining, and that kept the kids calm. We did inside games and songs. There are six classrooms. I had originally planned to do one little magic show followed by a bible story for the group as a whole. Since they were split up, that meant 6 Bible stories and 6 magic shows back to back to back to back to back to back. I’m kind of tired, obviously, but it was sooo much fun. The kids loved it and spent all their spare moments asking for more “magico.”
Here’s Bradley leading worship along with Johnny, one of our interpreters. Johnny is a youth minister.
Also, I’m not sure who all is reading this, but many people I know have been praying for a boy named Udy. He was kidnapped and taken all the way to Mexico and who-knows-what was done to him and was planned for him. Anyway, he’s doing better now, but you can tell there’s still a lot of mistrust and anger in him. At the same time, he is a good-looking, charismatic kid that you can tell the others look up to. I was able to get away and talk to him about some things and pray for him and let him know what an incredible future I think God has for him. Apparently it was kind of big deal that he opened up to me a bit and let me pray for him. I came here seeking to get the opportunity to pray with him. That happened the first day, so I’m really excited about it, and hope we have a chance to visit a little more tomorrow.
One last picture of some of those sweet faces.
That’s it for now. I’ve added a few pictures since I first posted this. Thanks to Russell for the pics.