Carlos and Carlita
Carlos and Carlita are two beautiful children that we met today while working in a very bad area of Santiago. Their mother is a drug addict and their father is not in the picture. Their grandmother is raising them and they are two of the sweetest children we have ever met. Carlita is very small and Drake towers over her. She came over to him and asked him if she could have their picture made together. Drake got down on his knees and she was so happy. She is kind little girl who thought receiving a balloon animal was a big gift.
Carlos is her older brother and not very tall, but has a big heart. He was so happy with the puppet show and the story today. He wanted to thank me, so he gave me something that he cherished. He had a wonderful red, white, and blue jester’s hat which he gave me to put in my hat bag. It was a very sacrificial gift. I was so touched by his kindness and I wanted to decline his gift. However, I knew that would be the wrong thing to do, so I accepted his gift with joy.
I was very happy that I had a copy of the Jesus Storybook Bible in Spanish. I wrote his name in the front and presented it to him. He was so happy! He was even happier with something that I told him. When he gave me the hat, I said, “Thank you so much, I will never forget you.” He ran around the room telling everyone that I promised not to forget him. When I think of Carlos, I will always remember how kind words can be a big gift. Everyone wants to be seen and remember.
A Room Full Of Puppeteers
We spent three hours this morning training Sunday School teachers from churches from all over Santiago. I was very pleased with the time that we spent with these new friends and especially my puppet team. They shared the teaching responsibilities with me and did an excellent job! Leslie said her favorite memory from today was when she and Kelsey was teaching puppets with the class. We passed out all our animals and people puppets. There was over 60 people in the room singing, dancing, and doing puppets. The room was full of joy!
It was also a challenging time for the Sunday School teachers as we talked about daily Bible reading. Drake gave a great talk about how he and his father have been reading his Bible all the way through every year since he was ten. Then I asked a question. Do you read your Bible everyday? Sadly there was only three people in the room who could say yes. I know that reading your Bible is the single most important thing they can do to prepare to teach the children.
The following words are Leslie’s that I have asked for her to share. This is the same story that she shared with the Sunday School Teachers.
“I wanted to encourage the teachers that the love and enthusiasm they put into children will pay off. I told them when I was a little girl, I would get so excited when the Agape Puppets came to my church every year. I loved watching the puppets and I would hang on every word of the stories. Then, I grew up, and Linda needed more puppeteers. I remembered how much I enjoyed the shows and I wanted to be a part of that. This changed my life in more ways than I can imagine. I certainly wouldn’t be in Chile right now. I told the teachers that they had the chance to fill children with the same excitement and joy. I told them I speak from experience when I say God will use them to change lives.”