Today we started VBS (Vacation Bible School) We split into two barrios with Carla leading one group and Dawn leading the other. I went with Dawn’s group so I’ll be telling about them and tomorrow I’ll go with Carla’s group (Fellowship and North Point churches) and will report on their activities in my next update.
When we reached the barrio our Peruvian hosts were already there setting up the sound system, tables and stations. We unloaded our supplies and broke into stations. The kids began to arrive and were lined up according to their age groups. Each group was given a different color shirt. The groups were split up among our stations and at the end of 30 minutes would switch to another station. Some of the groups had translators and those of us who know some Spanish kind of winged it.
Jennie and Tyler held three-legged races, played duck duck and red rover. It was a little difficult to explain the concept of the games but they did a good job demonstrating and the kids joined right in.
Chris, Howie and Helen played soccer. They didn’t have to tell the kids how to play! They seemed to have a great time with Chris and Helen using their Spanish and Howie blowing the whistle.
Uncle Tom and Sharon’s groups played with large colored balls and bean bags. Sometimes they were pretty swamped with kids but our hosts came to the rescue and helped organize them so Tom and Sharon were able to really enjoy playing with the kids.
Marcy, Mary and Cathy ran the craft table. The morning groups made crosses. The mom’s stood watching for a while but soon pitched in and enjoyed crafting with their kids. Mary, who knows Spanish quite well met some women from the barrio and enjoyed visiting with a nurse who works in a clinic there.
The Peruvians told Bible stories at their station which was in someone’s house. Kids were spilling out the door and watching through the windows.
Another house housed the food. We served breakfast and lunch. In the morning Nathan, Lynn, and Karin fed the kids porridge made in huge pots. The kids stood around the table drinking it from large cups. They seemed to enjoy it tremendously and loved laughing and communicating with the Americans. Karin speaks pretty well and laughs at her mom’s accent but Lynn is actually doing well.
Robert, Mike, Kevin and Ralph helped put a new roof on a community center. It was really interesting to observe and REALLY different than the remodeling and construction jobs these guys do in the States! The base of the roof was large bamboo pools laid across the top of the walls for braces. They then nailed smaller bamboo poles across the braces. On top of that they rolled out a woven bamboo that looked like a huge place mat. Over this they placed a plastic tarp. Then the fun began! They mixed a huge batch of mud and carried it in buckets up a hill leading to the roof. Mike and the Peruvian guys spread it over the entire roof and left it to dry.
Next they were asked to take out a brick wall so they could expand the kitchen. Mike and Kevin carefully removed the bricks while Ralph and Robert removed the old mortar and cleaned them up for re-use.
After our lunch break we re-convened with VBS. Dawn moved people around so they could try different stations. Word had gotten out and there were several hundred kids ready to play and eat. I went first to the food serving area to take photos of the kids being served lunch. They were swamped! Uncle Tom, Nathan, Howie and Karin made sandwiches and poured drinks as fast as they could. I ended up washing cups in a cement sink with cold water. They were filled with Kool-Aid as quickly as I could wash them and then returned to be washed for the next group. It was non-stop all afternoon. With the food gone and dishes washed we all went outside to finish the day by watching a puppet show and danced to the music.
The construction crew finished taking down the wall and extended the kitchen. They built a header for a window and a door.
A tired but satisfied group headed for the bus. We all were happy to take showers and have a good meal knowing we would be up again EARLY tomorrow to do it all over again!
Thanks for your prayers. Everyone is doing well.
Check out the photo album for today’s photos!