The Sweetest Thing
Sometimes, it is easy to focus on the wrong thing and then, you would miss the sweetest thing. I have been very sick with food poisoning and problems with the high altitude of Cusco (11,000 +). However, because I was so weak, I was sitting on the steps in the park today while the team packed the equipment.
We had a wonderful time in the park! A crowd of more than 150 had gathered, with at least half of them adults. When I finished the story, our friend Steve gave the invitation in Spanish and many children prayed out loud, putting their trust in Jesus.
As they began to pack and move the equipment to the street so that we could travel to the next show, around 10 children and 2 adults gathered around me. They had missed the entire program and their eyes begged for hope. Most of their faces were sunburned and their clothes dirty. My friend Americo suddenly appeared and together we experienced the sweetest thing.
I got out my notebook and began to draw the story of Jesus with simple pictures and an ink pen. They hung on every word. I told them my own story and explained how knowing Jesus puts hope in your heart. Almost every child prayed to receive Christ. Then, I gave the story that I had drawn to the oldest little girl and asked Americo to tell her to use the pages to tell the story to others. She promised that she would!
If I had been healthy, I would have been walking around and unavailable to the children. God is so good to me! He redeems everything and opens doors that I cannot imagine.
Higher and Higher
Later, we drove up the side of a mountain, higher and higher, until even the taxi driver began to protest that the car could not go any further, but somehow, he made it. This was an extremely poor area, where the houses were made of mud bricks. The floors were dirt, the bathroom and kitchen were outside, and the little houses literally clung to the side of the mountain. There is no heat in their homes and it gets cold enough at night that you would wish that you had a way to get warm.
The children received a large bowl of rice with beans and potatoes, but you would have thought it was a steak dinner. They were so happy! Steve and Aracelly Hobby are doing an amazing work with the children. They sang songs with them, complete with all kinds of hand movements. They loved it. For a short time, they enjoyed being children and this is something that they rarely experience. Their life is very difficult. Most children sell candy on street corners or work at some small job when they are as young as five.
They were so responsive to the story of Joseph and many prayed to receive Jesus. They will continue coming to the children’s club and learn more.
Things We Will Remember
1. This morning the girls woke up to discover llamas outside of their window. Then, when we went outside, they chased Lisa.
2. The literacy rate for the Quechua people is only 5% to 10%. Today, we met a Wycliffe worker that is teaching literacy classes so that they can read the word of God in their own language.
3. At the market, we saw so many stalls full of beautiful clay pots, lovely earrings, and hand woven blankets.
4. The government has many failed literacy programs where they have focused on external motivations instead of internal motivations. This time, they plan to offer a basket of food for each class you attend, but this promise does not give them the vision that they really need.
5. I had shish kabob the other day, but it was a little different from what I had eaten at home. They made it with onion, chicken, and cow’s heart. It was very good!
In Jesus, Linda for Sam, Lisa, Katie, Mykayla, Hannah, and Heather