Written by Summer Thursday morning:
Wednesday was another blessed day!! We had a smooth border crossing and then began the bumpy drive to the first VBS. We weave past houses made of scrap wood and tin, driving on bumpy dirt roads until we reach the location of our first VBS. The church is small with two buildings and a small courtyard. We start the morning by setting up crafts and games. Once the children arrive the morning assembly starts with lots of singing and dancing. We all sing as best we can and attempt to dance. It is lots of fun and having the team so enthusiastic adds lots of energy. Michael and Darwin play the guitar and Madison helps with the vocals. Once we finish singing we sit down hot and sweaty, grateful for the two ceiling fans and the cool tile floor. The local pastor gives a lesson and then Seanna, Andrew and Jared act out the daily drama in Spanish, much to everyone's delight. Andrew is an eagle complete with wings and a beak, Seanna is a coyote with ears and a bandit mask and Jared is the Sherrif who is also a jackrabbit. We had a blast making Jared's ears and fluffy bunny tail. Children are then divided into three groups and rotate through the craft room, games and daily lesson taught by Darwin and wife Alma. I have helped everyday with crafts along with Linnea, Gracia, Rachel and Madison. We laugh a lot and scramble to help little 3 year olds cut paper and try to learn Spanish words for cut, color, glue and write your name. We repeat the same words a dozen times trying to communicate what the children are suppose to do. They laugh at us and we laugh at ourselves. The games are run by Luke and James with the help of Michael, Seanna, Andrew and Jared. Sometimes the games are on the basketball court across the road or in the courtyard. We drink a ton of bottled water because it is extremely hot especially for the group outside doing games. After the rotation is complete, we once again assemble together in the sanctuary for more singing and dancing and then Darwin talks to the children a little more about the lesson for the day and awards for scripture memory. Then one of the team shares their testimony. We then tell the children adios and sit down under the fans to cool off and wait for lunch. When lunch is served we sit together at a long table with many smiling cooks and eat amazing Mexican food. Yesterday we had pork sandwiches on fresh buns. After we finish they always try to give us more and most of the time we have seconds if not thirds. They are extremely gracious and generous. After lunch we have a little time to rest or frantically look for paper for the next VBS because we left most of it back at the host home. Everyone jumps in when we have a situation like that, quickly drawing lines and cutting out tiny cactai and horseshoes as we get prepared to drive out into the country and do it all over again. Once we finished our last assembly of the day, we loaded up and began the drive back. Our evening was a little different yesterday because we did some shopping in downtown Nogales and then ate at a restaurant. The sky began to darken as we were sitting down to eat and we were able to see our first Mexican rain storm which was a novelty for Washingtonians. With full stomachs and wet heads we headed across the border and had our first van search of the trip. Lots of great memories and precious times reflecting on how good our God is and how blessed we are as a nation. Our evening concluded with a devotion by Gracia and prayer time as a team. Today will be similar but with new memories and new opportunities to share the love of Jesus with the precious children of Nogales.