March 24, 2017

Day 2 - We Meet Our Friends for the First Time

Gateway 2017 School2School HANDS Team:

     The day is finally here; the day we have been waiting for!  Today is the day we get to meet the students and staff at our partner school of Bautista Libertad!!

     We left on the bus in the morning, nervous and excited to see what the day would bring. When we arrived at the school, we immediately received a warm welcome! We were surprised to find a beautiful poster displaying pictures of Gateway’s teams from the previous 4 years that have partnered with Bautista. There were Canadian flags displayed at the front of the sanctuary, and the students in the Grade 11 class (our partner class) were waiting patiently.

     We started the day with devotions led by a teacher from Bautista. He shared a moving devotional where he spoke of the importance of our partnership and the times that we spend together as partner schools. He encouraged the students by saying, “The fact that you come and spend these days together is a beautiful example, that we can have peace together as young people. There are no colours, barriers, genders, language, etc  .... other people will see that and they will know that there is something different and good in all of you! How wonderful it is to be together in unity in this friendship of love in this community ...  “ Indeed, our team’s theme of “Love Needs No Translation” is already showing itself to be evident and true.

     We opened with a number of fun ice-breaker games, and games that got the kids to interact more comfortably with one another. There was plenty of laughter as we attempted to communicate with one another and begin to forge friendships with each other.

     After lunch we traveled together to Luis Alfonzo Valasquez Park where we experienced a variety of activities such as basketball, soccer, and volleyball … some even tried rollerblading! It is a beautiful colourful park, allowing us to play and interact with each other in a beautiful setting.

     We ended our time together with our friends at the waterfront, overlooking Lake Managua. We enjoyed ice cream and opportunities for group photos together, while seeing more of the area and the culture of Managua.

     In the evening we shared a time of devotions and reflection as a team. The theme throughout the evening was how much we appreciated the welcome we received from Bautista Libertad and the friendships that were already being formed.

     The team was surprised and overwhelmed with the gift of “mail time” … letters and encouragement from home. The prayerful support was evident and powerful in the notes and letters that we each received.

     What a full and wonderful day!

PS ... we are a day behind in posting. Wifi and opportunity have been iffy.  It is our hope to get caught up tonight and begin the secondary blog that will allow us to post more photos as well.  ... Stay tuned ...


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