Marina and Valentina continue with their thoughts on the trip- Craig
This morning we woke up to cheese arepas for breakfast at the hotel and delectable start fruit, along with other delicious treats to start what would soon be a very successful first “mission day”. A five minute bus ride (the shortest distance we’ve traveled thus far) took us to a giant park under a sunny blue sky. The weather here is very much like South Florida’s, but luckily for us, the heat is not accompanied by waves of humidity. Anyway, we can best describe this park as the YMCA of Cali. All outdoors, the “Parque Olimpico” includes pools, a gym, a soccer field, a vast playground area and plenty of garden space perfect for us to set up face painting and coloring book stations, Mommy & Me classes, and a free food area. Here are some examples of face painting “works of art” , posing with their pictures:
A large covered dome served as the clinic where medical services such as eye exams and physicals were offered. Doctor Scott had his hands full today as we had to sadly turn away some of the locals due to overcrowding in the medical area. We were able to see more than twenty-five patients today.
As far as the kids camp, we happily sang worship songs together and found some one-on-one interaction time with every last child that registered today. The kids were all very patient when standing in line for activities and extremely kind and well-mannered. Our team members were blown away by the happiness instilled in these kids through simple interaction and have really seen how much they appreciate our presence. One of today’s highlights definitely had to be the soccer game we held with most of the young boys of the church. Thanks to the generosity of the Soccer Association of Boca Raton (who donated 60 soccer uniforms) and other SRC trip sponsors, we were able to fully clothe each player from head to toe in soccer gear (cleats and all). We wish those at SRC could have seen the happiness instilled throughout the sea of children when we told them all the clothes and amenities offered this week were obviously free and we did it out of the love for God.
Unfortunately, we had to start cleaning up and sending the children home with their parents by lunch time, although the medical clinic would stay open longer. We ate a tasty rice dish at the part and eventually headed back to the hotel for naps later in the afternoon. Some of the group took the bus into the city to buy fresh fruits and past! Tonight was Spaghetti Night at Pastor Javier’s church. Luca, Daniela and Diane serving as head chefs feeding over 40 people, made up of only close church leaders from the area, their wives and kids, and us.
While the chefs were preparing the wonderful meal, we had a time to “Meet the Pastors” where each of the five other pastors from the Cali area gave their testimonies of how God has worked in their ministries in spiit of much hardship and opposition (there will be more information on these pastors later in the week).
What an amazing way to come together and close a beautiful day. We hope tomorrow can be as prosperous as today but, I highly doubt it will be anything but.