Thursday was our last work day...and did we work! We had more stoves to install, family photos, 150 chickens to distribute, and more and more shoes! Many previous group members sent gifts with us and we were able to see them and give those gifts to them. They were so grateful and some pictures are below. This group sponsored 7 more children for school and we installed stoves in many of their homes and their sponsors took their families to lunch. While eating at the restaurant, one child told their sponsor that she has always seen people eat this food, but she never thought she would be able to eat it herself.
I would say this year's focus was about relationships. Yes we built stoves, gave out chickens, put lots of shoes on dirty feet, but more importantly we built relationships. A smile and a laugh is very universal. When members return each year, familiar faces and friendships grow... rather with a street vendor, Mayan Family staff or a sponsored child. One street vendor (a child) recognized Steven (one of our children). He called him Ben, who happens to be Steven's brother who was here last year. Quite a memory...and a salesman!
As the leader, I hear the same thing every year. "Pictures don't do it justice". "People just have to come here." "My life has been transformed." The common agreement is that we can be very inward focused, worry about things that really don't matter in the scheme of things, and every day we must serve others. People are just people no matter where they live and what color they are. We are all children of God and we all matter.
We appreciate everyone's prayers during this week. Today (Friday) is our last day. We travel to Antigua for a day of shopping and a final dinner together. We'll be home soon. As our devotions last night challenged us...will we keep from conforming to the way of the world and keep our minds clear to hear God?