All missions trips are fraught with delays. Delayed flights, delays in getting supplies, weather delays, public protests, weekends, holidays slow things down and even blog posts get delayed. While most delays are a frustrating and sometimes discouraging, and we have had our share of those on this trip, but not being able to complete yesterday's post was anything but.
We departed early yesterday morning to acquire the last piece of our chicken coop puzzle and begin construction on our roosting pole project. A few more steps today should see it completed. Unfortunately, since our visit last year, the coop roof was damaged by a falling tree branch and partially collapsed. With the anchors holding it to the cinder block wall having been broken we attempted to find new, longer anchors to repair the roof with but were unsuccessful. In the meantime, four load baring posts have been secured under the main roof beam to hold it up until the roof can be properly secured to the exterior wall of the property. We have plans to help locate the proper anchors back in the states and help Pastor Brian see the next team that arrives is able to fix it.
After lunch the team and students joined forces to host a one day VBS at the school property. In preparation, the men began moving the large benches from the rooftop patio to the ground floor for the children to sit on. A young girl, who was resting on a nearby rooftop, saw what they were doing and jumped up and exclaimed "VBS?!?!?". When one of the students acknowledged her and said yes she squealed, jumped up and down, did a little dance and started yelling "VBS!!! VBS!!!" over and over as she scurried down her ladder, into her home and out into the neighborhood to tell all her friends.
Our VBS began with worship and various games as over 75 children began to trickle in. Many we recognized and many recognized us in return. The entire afternoon was spent ministering to the kids. They caught onto the games quickly and showed a genuine excitement at the simple things we brought like jump ropes and nail polish. There is a maturity amongst the older kids that impresses. Even as children they are able to see a need and take the initiative to fill that need. Picking up smaller children who are crying, taking others to the bathroom, initiating games when some of them were not joining in on other group games and even keeping the peace and translating for us when the need for candy threatened to develop into a kinder riot. A group craft allowed us to teach the kids about how we go from being sinners to being redeemed using salvation bracelets. Food distribution at the end saw the kids bellies full as well as their spirits.
The evening was spent out at dinner with the entire "family", giving the staff and students a night off from cooking and cleaning for us. Instead we enjoyed fellowship over local cuisine and more fried plantains than we could safely handle. Our time together went well into the night, hence the delay of this post. Tonight you can expect an update on the finished chicken coop and our VBS at Pastor Dovic's church this afternoon so stay tuned!