March 25, 2015


Gateway 2015 School2School HANDS Team:


     Our day began early in the morning again, with breakfast at 6:00 am and then off to the school!  We started with devotions led by Bautista and then we helped a number of teachers with activities planned in their classrooms.  The activities were prepared by their teachers and included making usable items from recycled materials (such as pencils cups from a pop bottle) and making crafts together.


     We had SO much fun playing with the students during the morning recesses! The experience was unbelievable … and difficult to explain. We brought a variety of sports equipment with us to use with the kids. Consequently, a lot of kids came to play with us, which was awesome! We had a variety of activities going on all at once, packed into a small area. Approximately 200 students – some of our students attempting to teach the game of rugby, others jumping rope and double Dutch, some playing basketball, others soccer, or playing catch with a rubber pig, playing marbles, and throwing the Frisbee … all within a small space together!  It was noisy, and packed, and hot, vibrant and busy … and SO much fun!


     Next our group led craft activities in 5 different classrooms throughout the school. In our pre-trip preparations, Mrs. McCullough helped to plan and prepare the crafts that we were teaching – we certainly appreciated her help when we unpacked all of the supplies, so organized and detailed, and carried them off to the classrooms!  Our students did such a great job, teaching about various factors of Canada such as snow, polar bears, northern lights, totem poles, moose, etc. Our teams then led the students in their crafts, helping with cutting, gluing, drawing, and coloring. Such a terrific time of learning and growing together!


     We are struck by many things such as the kindness and immediate acceptance we feel from the students and staff at Bautista Libertad. But also the fact that even though we struggle to communicate, and are from two totally entirely different places, we are united in our love for the Lord.

We are feeling privileged to be here!



Student highlights:



This morning the pancakes we had for breakfast were delicious - a change from rice and beans. I didn’t feel that it was as warm today, which was nice. Once we got to the school I enjoyed doing devotions with the students. It is interesting that they always stand when they pray. The traffic in general is very exciting. Today we were in small groups and we went into different classrooms to teach crafts to different classes. It was very fun, and the students were very loud! We also went to a local park to help clean it up. There was so much garbage to clean. Local kids helped us clean up to which was really neat. On the way back to the Nehemiah Center we were singing in the van - what an awesome day!



I am still in awe of how beautiful the country and the scenery are! The heat doesn’t bother me as much as I thought it would, although I have found new ways to sweat. The language barrier, which I was very worried about, is not as bad as I thought it would be. We have found all kinds of ways to communicate with the students there. I am starting to feel the tiredness of early mornings and late nights. Getting rest here is so important. I am very thankful that I haven’t had a sunburn yet. It’s very cool how relatable the little kids are, all of the hugs, high fives and shy smiles. And the older students are really trying to get to know us.




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