Our first workday started out earlier than the first few here - I was up by 6 AM! We had a breakfast of pancakes, then Emily shared her testimony which is a beautiful and inspiring story.
We were picked up at 9 AM and split into teams for the day's work - the boys and some gals were outside building a cement trench and weeding the Garden of Hope while Rachael, Vanessa, Emily, Sari and I were in the printing press helping stuff and fold newsletters. I had some really good conversation with the ladies and got to know them better, which was great. We even discussed the possibility of doing a small group study (using LFL as material) when we got back home!
We took a few breaks and my high of the day came as I was walking through the dining tent to go to the bathroom. I saw Suzy sitting alone in the back, strumming her guitar along to an MP3 player plugged into a small speaker playing Revelation Song in English! I stopped and asked if I could sing with her and was so glad I took the time to stop. Watching her strum her guitar with all her heart, praising Jesus and singing in her beautiful voice was such a treat. I had a shaky voice as a tried to sing along for sure! I asked her to play that song one more time and she indulged me, and even played a few more songs for me. She is so incredibly talented and told me she wanted to become a song writer. I love how all the kids have big dreams, despite their past. Their love for Jesus and hope and future He and the staff at EV give them is awesome and greater than any past hurts.
After work we had lunch with the kids where they all sang Happy Birthday to team member Ivana - so sweet!
Following lunch was our afternoon activity with the kids which was a game of capture the flag. We brought colored bandannas to use as flags and each kid got to keep theirs. We explained the rules and there were a few hiccups while playing, but that made it even more fun! The kids loved running around, taunting the opposite team, and leaning the new game. As our van was pulling away for the evening, we saw some of the kids on a smaller field playing on their own.
Back at the house we had dinner and recapped the day, then had Bridget, Miguel, and their 3 kids over for an evening devo. Miguel shared a bit at first, then took the kids home as Bridget stayed to talk to us. She told us to continue meeting and encouraging each other (Heb. 10:23) - to see the value in that and not give up. After they left, it was time for bed, but not before we had a birthday cake for Ivana! The days sure are long here, but rewarding!
**Some photos taken by me, some taken by other team members!