Dr Student Team Day 7

Monday, the first of the last. This morning began as all of our weekday mornings have, waking up around 6:10 to be in the chapel at 6:25. We circled for prayer for one of our site, the day, and the individual quiet time to follow. This morning I actually had the opportunity to pray for the group as we had not prayed for the work we are doing at my site, El Callejon. This morning I read through the start of Ezra, chapters 1-3, and the story was on how Cyrus the King of Persia had his heart turned by God so that he would release the jews in Persia to go rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. It was such a reminder to me of how the Lord can use any means He pleases to do His work, not simply his people. It was also a testimony to how he doesn't truly need us to be able to accomplish His goals, making it all the sweeter that He would choose to make us a part of His plan. It was so applicable to the work we have been doing because no matter how big or small the jobs may be we have the opportunity to serve the Lord and that should always be seen as a privilege. We have also been studying through different parables throughout the past week and today we had a group discussion on the parable of the mustard seed and the parable of the leveled bread. These parables are both a reflection of the way that the relationship we have with christ grows into so much more than its small start and that God can take a little bit of faith and make a lot. The leavened bread struck me in a bit of a different way than it has in the past, reminding me off the way the Lord does not let go of us. Once we are a part of His family he grows that and stretched us to become so much more than we were, a simple dough, and Leven also cannot be removed as the love of God and a true relationship with Him cannot be lost. The sacrifice and full commitment we must have in following the Lord was also displayed as our discussion continued into the parables of the hidden treasure in the field and the Pearl of Great Price. After this discussion our day continued on to breakfast, this morning made up of fruit and Biscuits and Gravy, so good. We then split into our teams, got our temperatures checked, and headed to our many sites. The drive to my site is beautiful and goes along a winding road lined with beautiful trees and plants so full of life and such a reminder of the beauty God has created. How incredible to have a creator who decided to make nature so beautiful and allows us to enjoy it. The plan for the day was to have a chill morning and have an activity for the girls from around age 2-5. But as with each day there are instances we must adapt to. This morning the pool that we were going to blow up and then fill for the girls in the afternoon to play in had holes for the pump that were too big for the pump we had. So after much deliberation we loaded back up in the car and headed back to the base. Upon our arrival we took it up to the garage where a bigger pump had been located and blew it up but that was just the beginning of the adventure. Once it had been inflated we had to fasten it to the top of the car with a road. So we all loaded up in order to tie it on top and through the doors of the car. Then the last bit of the road had no where to go so the four of us in the back, Caylin, Natalie, and I on the seat and Sarah sitting on the floor clung to the rope for our lives and the survival of the pool. Then we were off. We made it all the way while watching the pools movement through the sunroof, but it didn't fly off. Success! Then as we set it up to fill we went through a walk in the community. Such a small thing that is such a representation of the nature of the culture here is that instead of calling it a neighborhood, town, or suburb as we would in the states they call it a community. Everyone knows everybody and many are related. The site was not one we would ever see in the states. The presence of multiple lottery houses and many children just wondering alone because there parents were busy or at work were common, displaying the reality that the broken relationships here affect everything. Not a day goes by that I don't think about the future of the sweet young girls we work with, that as their culture goes will likely experience teen pregnancy and have husbands who are societally permitted to do as they wish. So much poverty and brokenness surrounds those living here but every day it amazes us how happy and joyful the girls we work with are, there is so much we can. learn from them in that way. Just the child like trust and faith they have that we aught to have as believers. When we returned Caylin shared her testimony and one of our site leaders was telling us bits of hers as she discussed how she related to the separation of her parents and it was so cool to see how in many ways that was a part of what drove them both to the Lord. we had lunch as a group and those doing media joined us, then the girls came. It is so sweet each day to see them walk through the door all shy and then to warm up and just be so fun to play with and listen to, even when I don't understand a thing they will just talk to me. They got in the pool and were just playing and splashing a soaking all of us but the laughter was so genuine and made it all so dun. Then they painted and played in the pool again. One of the girls kept spitting water out of her mouth and Natalie and I turned for one moment and then just saw a flying stream go right into her shirt, we both looked at the girl then at each other and died. We laughed so hard at something so silly and in many ways kinda gross. But that is such a reflection of the joy that has so overflowed this trip, the joy of the Lord filling us and just overflowing. Then Natalie was helping a girl and her sister got upset and basically said, "hey American." But the situation just made it so funny. So many little things go into the joy and experiences of the day but today especially was full of laughter. On other days we listen to a bible story and play with the girls with inevitably means we role in the grass and give many piggy back rides. Today was different but still such a sweet time of investing in the girls. The girls went home and we had to empty the pool and clean up. The draining of the pool was definitely an adventure but we managed. After that we headed back to the base for a bit of free time in with we carried josh into the middle of the road and put flowers in his had while he was "sleeping". It was a hoot. And that leads me to now. We are just sitting down for dinner and are going to do a poverty simulation tonight followed by our nightly debrief and then bed. And that about it. A trip full of laughter and seeing the Lord in all things.  


- Mercedes Tiffany