Quince de Septiembre:
Everyday when we walk through the doors of Quince de Septiembre, we are greeted with a roar of “hola’s” and we are instantly immersed into spending time with the kids. Today we were able to almost finish painting the room we were working on. While in the classroom’s we did two activities. We made slap bracelets and play dough. In the classroom I was in, which was the two year old room, the teacher had us put the kids in chef hats and aprons and the kids they made corn tortillas for a snack. Today was also really special because a couple members of our team decided to sponsor children. It was very cool to see. Overall today was a super amazing day at Quince and none of us are looking forward to tomorrow being our last day. Even though this week was spent learning phrases that are somewhat irreverent in Spanish, this week was still spent showing these kids the love that they deserve and the love that God has for them.
-Matthew “Mateo” Barber
Other than the active volcano, rampant crime, a person being shot less than ¼ of a mile from our school, and serious water contamination at our hotel, there is absolutely no reason parents should have any concern about this trip. While peeling somewhere between one thousand and twenty thousand green beans for all the children, Maddy and I talked about The Princess Diaries, Active Volcanoes, and lots of other things you probably don’t care about. More relevantly, today we helped the kids make custom t-shirts. The kindergarten girls did a magnificent job, decorating theirs with symmetrical patterns, circles, and shapes. However, most of the boys did less “painting” and more “splattering”. Typical. Other than that, today was much of the same. On a serious note, we are all so thankful for the organizers of this trip, Browns Bridge Church staff, leaders, and our “senders” who supported this trip. It’s been an amazing experience to love, hug, play, dance, and paint with children who come from such unfortunate circumstances. And most importantly, it’s all about God, and that isn’t just what we want, but what the world needs. We will be forgotten, but God will always be remembered. We are thankful that He has led us to be “The light of the world” and we cannot wait to see our ticos tomorrow!
At Lomas Kindergarden, we touched up the windows where we painted, and scraped off the excess paint with razors. For lunch we had some of the most delicious fried fish with some fresh mangoes. After lunch we taught 2 classes. We started by introducing ourselves and reciting our memory verse. We had the first class paint crosses and decorate slap bracelets, since they don’t speak english, I had to translate to Spanish. The second class had the children decorate slap bracelets. Then they played a game called “tierra y agua” or “land and water”. I loved playing with the kids and teaching them. They loved all of the activities, especially painting. However, they seemed to enjoy painting my arms more than their crosses. They were just full of so much joy and happiness; I could spend every day with them. Also, today I helped hand out the 1,300 soccer balls to the children of Lomas Elementary. It was amazing to be able to see the joy on their faces and to see how happy they were to receive something as simple as a soccer ball. Some kids even asked me to sign their soccer balls! I absolutely love spending time with these kids and it will be hard to leave them Thursday.
Today has been an absolutely amazing day!! We have been truly overwhelmed by the faithfulness and love of God. The team that went to Lomas today experienced a day that can only be described as a gift from God. Starting out, the day we split up into three groups: one painting and sponging a classroom, one continuing to work on our mural, and one loving on the sweet children of Lomas Elementary. Around lunch time we were able to do something very, very special for all of the children at Lomas. We were able to give each child in the school their very own soccer ball to take home with them. Words cannot even described the pure joy that these kids had upon receiving their soccer balls! It was so humbling to see such a small gesture doing so much for these sweet children. After writing their names and drawing pictures on their soccer balls, each child made it a point to get as many signatures or “autobiografias” as they could. Although we came bearing gifts for them, it is needless to say that the gifts that they gave us were even greater. We have been absolutely filled up with love and grace from these kids; it is evident to see God working in their lives and in Lomas Elementary School. Additionally, we found a new team mascot in the form of a cute puppy – Pepe. Pepe may actually end up coming back to the United States in someone’s carry-on. After a day like this it is hard not to feel rejuvenated for the rest of the trip and we are so excited for what is to come!