This morning we attended a church that was about 45 minutes away. The church was bilingual-- Spanish and English. There had been a recent revival at this church, so an English speaking professor from a seminary in the U.S. was the guest speaker. He encouraged us with Romans 8 (God is for us, who can be against us? God can and will work good from the worst of situations!) The church service lasted longer than usual, but the English was nice to hear. They also sung some songs (in Spanish) that were familiar to us ("Before the Throne" and "In Christ Alone"). After church, the women of our team helped sort school material that missionary Ina York uses as incentives for kids to memorize scripture. We also met Ina's summer helpers, Jessica and Rebecca. Both are fluent and very helpful. We had another church service at 4 p.m. Many people came! We divided by gender and prayed together. When we left, the boys we invited to the baseball camp seemed very excited!
The poverty that we see in the villages is amazing. Our problems seem so minuscule in comparison. As our bus bumped along on the road today, everyone came out of their small houses to wave and smile at us.
Ina shared her vision and prepared us for baseball camp tomorrow. She told us the story of a young village boy who was always carried and never forced to walk. Finally, someone let him walk. But as soon as he saw his mom, he sat down and wanted to be picked up. His mom, while good-intentioned, was inhibiting him by always carrying him. Ina explained that it is easier to pick up and carry someone, but the person being helped does not learn anything that way. This is how she sees her role in the village. She wants to help the people, but it takes work. Her desire is for them to be self-sufficient, not dependent on her, or anyone else, to meet their needs. Her passion and love for the village of Cercadillo is very inspiring to us all. We are learning so much, so quickly.
We're offering praise because our lost luggage has been returned! Also, Joel's shoulder is better, and our team's health is great. Thank you all for your prayers!