I come to you tonight on the back porch of the girl’s dorm. It’s a perfect 60 degrees outside, and the night holds a stillness that can only be found back in the states far from any city lights. Tonight I come to you relishing in the sweet exhaustion that comes only from a day where you have given everything. It is a feeling that comes from finishing on empty, and today, that is precisely what we did.
We woke up around 7:30 and made our way to breakfast. After a delicious meal to start the day, we made our way over to the gym where church would be held. We formed a tunnel of sorts and welcomed all of the children with shouts and cheers as they made their way into the building for worship.
For those of you who have never experienced a worship service in another country, I highly suggest you make it a priority. It is a beautiful thing to experience not only worship in another language, but also the omnipresence of our God as we sat hours from home knowing our friends and family were back at home doing the exact same thing.
We left the beautiful service and went to the entrance of The City to take a group picture and begin a tour of the homes. The most wonderful part about the tour occurs when you enter the homes of the different children. They take such pride in their space. They stood and smiled as we walked through the places they call home, enjoying the touches they each had added to their space to make it their own.
After the tour we had lunch. Another staple I had been hearing about since day 1: Momma’s Lunch. It did NOT disappoint. Carne Asada tacos, rice, beans, and quesadillas. From there we went to prepare for our first day of VBS with the kids.
Our theme for the week is “Campamento” or “Camp”. These kids are not able to experience the joy of church camp, so we decided to bring it to them. Our afternoon was packed with silly games, goofy songs, and a soccer game that had at least 60 people involved.
From there we had a bit of free time to prepare for the classes some of us would be teaching in the evening. That evening we had a dinner of appreciation for the Baja Missions staff and crew. Having worked with them before, it was a bit of a family reunion for me. Again, dinner was amazing as we feasted on fish tacos, salsa that would burn your nose hairs, and (wait for it, dad) chiles toreados. As dinner closed it was time for our night classes.
This was the part where we took the children into the more serious part of camp. Holden and one of the Mexican leaders led us in simultaneous English and Spanish singing. It was chaos. It was loud. And it was beautiful. The best part is knowing for sure that God heard every word that was sung no matter the language. Following the singing, William led us in a wonderful devotional about the choices we make when we choose to follow God, and how Jesus is our perfect example through that process. From there we went to our classes.
We have four different classes for the kids that all focus on different ways to read scripture in a way that help you understand that which you are reading. Each night, the kids will move from one class to the next. I, on the other hand, have the really neat opportunity to be teaching the high school girls here. If you remember, high schoolers are one of my passions. However, I was apprehensive all day as to how my passion would translate into another language. God is good. And so was the class. And I look forward to meeting with the sweet high schoolers again tomorrow.
I wish I could adequately describe to you all the beautiful chaos that occurs in the evenings as everyone joins one another to play. There is so much laughter that you cannot help but join in for nothing more than being present.
We finished with a moment of discussing as a whole where we saw God today. I loved sitting back and listening to my friends as they shared from various perspectives how God showed Himself to them throughout the day. In turn, we spent the next 30 minutes praising our creator for His goodness and His willingness to show Himself to us through this place and these people.
As I begin to prepare my mind for bed tonight, it races. I am thankful for smiles, laughter, and peace. I am thankful for old friends who seem more like family than anything. And most of all I am thankful for God’s faithfulness.
Posted on Mon, May 29, 2017
by James Lane