July 12, 2013 by Chris French
We started loading food bags at Central again today. I can neither confirm nor deny possible wrestling that took place during the downtime. On our way out to the bus there is always traffic because the bus has to park in the road. Our Tourist Police rolls out into the street like there’s not a truck coming down the street and the truck comes to an immediate stop several feet from him. The M-16 he was holding could have had something to do with it, but mostly I think it was the look on his face.
Our first stop this morning was the Children’s Hospital. I have a love/hate relationship with this place. If you’ve been you know, if you’re confused come next year! There are tons of kids there and their faces light up when we give them presents, but the conditions they live in are rough. The building isn’t well air conditioned and the medical practices are a blast from the ’50’s. The building itself almost feels sick. The kids, parents and doctors are so sweet, but you leave with a heavy heart. I’m glad we go because I feel like we bring a little bit of joy to these troubled families who are running low on joy, but like most experiences this week, it helps me as much as I help them. It reminds me how good I have it, it breaks my heart, it reminds me of actual struggles and humbles me. I leave thankful and more ready for the Father to set things right.
Our next stop was at the Santa Cruz church of Christ. We worked with this congregation last year for the first time and our group immediately fell in love with them. They are one of the poorest congregations we work with, but out of their abundance they gave us a token of their appreciation. I loved them for that. One of the ladies went around and hugged our entire group! Last year we did their VBS in an open field, because they didn’t have a building. This year there was a structure for VBS and the preaching. We sang Spanish, English and Hippo songs, did our craft, (I did way better this time mostly because Kelly and a new Spanish friend helped) handed out the children’s bags, food bags and reading glasses.
After VBS we made several balloon animals, lots of swords! I started off at the bottom of the hill, but decided I was too close to the reading glasses station so I moved up the hill. As more kids came up the hill I moved farther up so we were out of the way. While I’m making balloons kids are tapping my arms, legs and backpack and telling me what they want me to make. This has happened about 20 times when I feel a little hand on my arm. I ignore it the first time, but he is very insistent, so I look at him and he looks a little concerned and points down at my feet. About 6 inches away is a massive fire ant mound! Little dude just saved me a world of pain! I still was bitten, but only once and I didn’t cry much at all…
After we got back to the hotel about 6:00 tonite we went out for crepes. I was a joyful reunion on my part. Last year we ate desert there almost every nite. My crepe fix was way overdue! I know you don’t care, but I’m going to tell you anyhow. I had a Chicken Parmesan crepe for the main course and a Cookies ‘N Cream crepe for desert. That’s a great way to end the nite!
Tomorrow we’re finishing up the house with Project RED. If you don’t know anything about them check out their video here.