School's out and the groups of boys before you (L-R: Carlos, Christian, Sergio, Kevin, Bairon & Oder) did exceptionally well in their classes this year. Thus we decided to celebrate by going to the beach and eating seafood overlooking the ocean.
Just found out the other day that Sergio is Kevin's (Duke) uncle...I laughed. peace! - mlk
A very diligent reader and fellow missionary had, after having read my very convoluted expose on Duke, asked that I do something similar on a weekly basis with other kids from the community. At the time I took it as a wonderful suggestion and with every intention to do so I completely forgot about it. That is until I thought to introduce you to Roger Alexander, more commonly known as Chamupronounced (Sha-moo). I'm not promising a weekly get-to-know-you session as it seems my forgetfulness will eventually get the better of me and I will be branded a liar and a charlatan but from time to time do expect to meet some of the more obscure or curious members of our troupe. Which again brings us to Chamu and his story. I can't remember how we first encountered this kid and although I can usually give you the exact date of my first encounters with the other kids that pertain to us, it doesn't strike me as odd that I can't remember my first interaction with him. Chamu is perhaps…
A group of about 10 leaders from the church did an observation tour of the two different "projects" of the congregation. We went first to Corozal a Garifuna community on the beach which is an outreach run by Juanita Green. We then headed to Los Laureles where we also happened to be celebrating Duke's birthday.
Alvina, a mother of two that relates closely with us approached us about getting her tattoos removed that she got when she was younger, some of which have satanic meanings. We set a date for her at the Peace & Justice Project of the Mennonite Church and this is the end result. Not exactly the end, there are still 2 more sessions before the tattoos are completely erased.
This past Wedenesday we had a special visitor lead us in our devotional. Jorge Duenas, the man there in the proceeding picture, is the father of some of my closest friends, a raving Anabaptist (he reads John Howard Yoder) and has the ability to reach and connect with youth in an awesome way...he just captivates them. Knowing full-well his abilities and love for both the Lord and youth I recently offered him an open invitation to lead a Wednesday Devotional when he had time...he called me the next week and informed me he would be taking the next meeting. Among other activites and biblical lessons, he told a story about an armless boy who learned to draw with his feet...and then instructed us to de-shoe and attempt drawing with a pen wedged between our toes. I wasn't sure if the kids would take to it but they loved it as the following photos can attest.
In other exciting news, Cristian, the boy in the blue shirt that is in the background of Jorge Duenas' head is blossiming and ma…
Chicken Pox has broken out in one of our families in the community and man am I glad that I can't get it because it looks incredibly painful. I have vague distant memories of my experience with the pox and I distinctly remember oatmeal baths and being exhorted not to itch. Even though I'm now immune to it I can't help but feeling itchy just looking at these kids...it makes my skin crawl.
Elwin got it the worst...I just feel sorry for him. Kevin is now recovering and is trying to stay comfortable in an undersized hammock.
Cristian is studying for his National Anthem test on the newly built stairs outside his house. The National Anthem is 7 verses long with a chorus in between each verse. Every six grader in the country is required to learn the anthem, an explanation of each verse, various questions surrounding each verse and be able to conduct the song in 3/4 time. If a student fails this test they fail the year regardless of their grades in other classes...which would really throw a wrench in our plans to send Cristian, Sergio and Duke to high school. The test is on the 30th of October - be praying for them and us as we attempt to help them study for this massive test.
I've been thinking a while about this post, how to write it or present it. It strikes me as inevitable that I won't be able to convey the full thrust of the idea that I want you all to understand - but then again we almost never do...only the most talented among us really have that skill and even then the words don't come easily. It seems funny sometimes that although we might feel something or understand something in our minds so clearly and so completely; that to get that thought into words descriptive enough that others will capture that same feeling or be struck with the same lucidity that we experience - that to do that is nearly impossible. We want others to see, to have that same unwordable understanding that we have but almost as soon as we begin to try and make them understand we come to realize that we're going to fail, that we're going to fall short and that at best our intended recipients will catch a glimpse of the idea that we feel so easily...at wors…
Just wanted to post some shots of the weekly devotionals we have. There's singing, praying, preaching and a couple of games too. We started out at a covered picnic table near the entrance to the community but when it's not being used as a House of Worship it doubles as a meet-up for the local drug addicts. I'm all about transformational change led by the Spirit but in order to try preserve some sense of innonce in our kids we looked for less worldly pastures and came up with something we had just built...our steps. It makes everything a little more crowded but they work great. Be praying for this venture of ours...neither Josue or myself are the preaching, pastoring types and yet here we are with in upwards of 50 kids in our group watching and critiquing our every move.