Day 4: Tuesday – Second Day in Cali, Valentina’s Birthday

Today’s blog post was written by Kathleen Meyer – Craig

Tuesday was another great day!  By now, with one full working day behind us, we felt like seasoned professionals ready to “work our plan”.   We arrived at the park and were greeted by our hosts and their families and quickly assembled for our morning devotion. This one was focused on 2 Corinthians 5:17-20 and gave us a wonderful reminder of our role and responsibilities as Ambassadors for Christ.  Diane and Craig led us in song with Luca and Tom on guitar.   Then Sergio, Daniel and Ronald (three young men from the church here) sang their much acclaimed song to Psalm 108 (these guys are FANTASTIC – tremendously talented — check out their Alabanzar You Tube click here  .  And before we opened for business, we sang Happy Birthday to Valentina and to Natalia (who was still celebrating her 5th birthday five days earlier).

Like yesterday, we set up our clinic in the pavilion.   Dr. Scott saw 30 patients and our pharmacia dispensed his prescriptions.  What a team!  And the Colombians were so appreciative of the chance to visit a doctor and get consultation and much-needed medicine.  We were touched by their graciousness and genuine gratitude.  It felt wonderful to help them but we knew that it was because of so many people at home who took the time and made the effort to procure medical supplies and drugs for them.

The scene outside was a flurry of happy, bouncing kids with painted faces – just thrilled to have our attention.  Fernando led them in devotion and then they sang their hearts out.  Heather helped them prepare their special sand art object and then Nancy took award-winning photos for each child which they made frames for to take home.  Shannon lent her expertise as a pediatric occupational therapist and worked with the kids here – by the end of the day, many were progressing as a result of her time with them.  The entire program rivaled the best YMCA/Camp Greystone experience you can imagine.  It was hot and our team was beat but it was a wonderful time for all.

The food has been fabulous – tasty and ample.  We’ve had lovely breakfasts in the hotel and delicious coffee con leche —think Juan Valdez.  And then everything seems to stop around 11am, when they bring you a “snack”.  On Tuesday, this was a hot dog with crushed potatoe chips on top – really good.  Lunch came around 2 and was a delicious Colombian dish of rice and pork.

We had a great dinner at a popular restaurant.  Everyone enjoyed their food – lots of beef and chicken and pork and juicy lime drinks.  But the highlight of the day was the birthday party for Valentina.  The people from the church here came bearing kisses for everyone and gifts for the birthday girl.  Ronald surprised us with a special concert in honor of the occasion — it seems that he can play almost every instrument.  Everyone was dancing and some of us even tried to salsa.  And they love karaoke here.

We have all learned so much about the beauty of the simple things in life.  Our Christian family here demonstrates their devotion, courage, resilience and love for their community their families and their church – under conditions that we would never know.  They have inspired us and we are grateful for them.

It was a great day of faith, good work, fellowship and peace in the grace of God’s love.

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