Today I woke up the earliest I have yet this week: 6:30. To some that might seem like nothing, but when you are spending every second of every day working and ministering it is emotionally and physically draining. I woke up content with the day and night I had prior and excited for the day ahead. We left the complex at 8:30 and headed out for church. During the service I and approximately five other students offered to help in the children’s ministry. Something that spoke out to me during this time was how easy it is to relate to children. We can see ourselves in them when we view their antics and games and attitudes. I sat with a young boy named Pedro who walked into the little hut crying. I said “Mira, Mira Amigo” (look at me, look at me friend) and wiped his tears away, he was quiet and sat next to me in silence during the lesson for the next few minutes. Then, out of nowhere he reached up and tickled my neck, I tickled him right back and he soon was on the floor laughing out of delight. I was happy to help get him out of his shell. He was chasing me around saying he was a monster, and I could only think of when I was younger and we would tickle my younger sisters. Children are all alike in their innocence and love for people. My heart breaks because they don’t know how differently I grew up: with running water, a safe neighborhood, and a guarantee of a future education. Overall it was a good day and there is more to come from this trip.
This morning we headed to church. It was really interesting to realize these people were worshipping at almost the exact same time we would be back home. We sang some songs that we normally would in church (although these were in Spanish). One of those songs talked about singing with all the people of the earth. It was a really cool experience to sing not only with my church at home, but with all the people of the world. We may not have sung super well or on pitch, but we all made a joyful noise to the Lord. In America, they may have been criticized for their voices, but listening to them was the most beautiful noise I’ve ever heard. I got chills when they began to sing. The church sang from their hearts without caring what they sounded like. They only cared about giving glory to our Lord and Savior, which made me think about what’s really important in Church: praising God.
This afternoon we were able to go horseback riding and swim at the beach. Some of us also went to the Lily House (a ministry that help get prostitutes off the streets) and we were able to buy gifts from the women who lived there. Most of the gifts were hand made by them.
-Laura Nickel and Naomi Holmes