This has been another full and busy day. Another day of milder temperature with a light breeze - very beautiful!
We had our usual morning and activities. The children are so excited about participating in drama skits and puppet plays to communicate the message of the day. They love wearing the costumes Diane has brought or creates from items she scrounges around here. We frequently have a number of glitches - with sound system that doesn't work, TV/DVD that balks, kids that get into a scuffle as important points are about to be communicated... But somehow we all continue to keep going the best we can.
I had some extra time to meet with the adult teachers today and that was great. We shared for about 90 minutes following our regular 45 min. class about many things. The outspoken participant I asked prayer for yesterday was deterred from our group as she was assisting a visiting "Inspection Team" - health checkers from somewhere. With her out of the circle, I found that all the rest had lots to say and often talked 3 or 4 at a time. I tried to listen to their thoughts and share some of my own. I was able to share some of God's truth with several but at times there was the distraction of the director's daughter's new baby and some children who needed correcting. But the sharing was warm and free - God will use it for His purposes I pray.
During our afternoon time for lunch, we filled gift bags for each child who has participated with our team this week. Each child will receive a new windbreaker jacket, a toothbrush, toothpaste, pen & pencil, handful of candy, some misc. toy item and some socks. We also prepared gift bags for each translator and support person who has made it possible for us to do God's work here this week. We will treat them to dinner in a restaurant tomorrow evening and present the gifts to them at that time. They have been wonderful people this year and we are so grateful for their ability and their willingness to serve.
During our evening gazebo time skit, the youngest girls presented a skit depicting Jesus and his disciples showing compassion by feeding the 5000. The girl who played Jesus was walking amongst the children to touch and help and care for them. She touched a little boy on the arm and he grabbed her arm and wouldn't let go. She pulled her arm loose and immediately planted a firm smack on the top of his head. At this point she ran from the gazebo and remained off stage. Fortunately Diane moved in to continue the skit as the Jesus character. But Helena was mortified - weeping inconsolably - so sorry for having been Jesus and not able to be "perfect". What a child-sized reminder that none of us is really Jesus and therefore we'll do things imperfectly but He'll not remove us from our assignments. We get "start-over" days everyday and He'll continue to empower us to "Show Compassion" and feed 5000 or maybe at least 1. Fortunately we had a couple translators who took little Helena in their arms to comfort and encourage - along with Diane and Elizabeth - her teachers for the week.
A number of us are still up preparing clothes and socks for our trip to Tirospol tomorrow. John Myers continues to print photos each night. How much the kids love to get those. The photo album they will have at the end of the week with their memory verses and a few photos will be a special memory for many years.
The importance of these trips has been made very clear to me this year through the adult women in my class. Most of them I've met in previous years but none of them were here last year. But each of them remembers many things that we talked about when I was here previously. They have asked specific questions about my family and have recalled exactly what I shared and what I gave them in past years. They express great appreciation for everything. I am aware of how important it is to remember that these are special moments with eternal ramifications. How privileged I am to have these opportunities and how humbled I am to be in this country at this time.
I forgot to mention yesterday that our youngest member, Phillip, had his "moment of stardom" as he demonstrated "Speed Stacking" as an illustration of the Wise and Foolish Builder during morning gazebo time on Wed. All the boys were really intrigued so he later had a class with interested boys. I think they thought it would be easy but found out it was rather tricky. He did a great job as a Speed Stacker teacher and his students had fun.
Past 11pm so I'll sign off for today. Pray for ease in crossing the border tomorrow and that our items will be able to reach those in need.