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Saturday, April 1, 2017

Wrap-up 0 comments

Our Team:

We reconvened our group with a potluck supper. After a very enjoyable meal we reviewed the trip - the details and impressions are still fresh. The hospitality of our hosts, the students and teachers and the local workers stood out. We worked well together!

Not one of us thought our bout of sickness soured our experience. It was encouraging to see that the government supports Christ centred education as a means of fighting the poverty so evident in the area.

We all voiced a hope that we could continue to support this school in the future, we will discuss ways to use our remaining funds to do this.

We continue to be extremely grateful and encouraged by the support of our congregation in being part of this experience.

We ARE open to another trip in the future!? 

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Day 9 - Last full day. 1 comment

Today's  theme was " Toiling for the Lord"

Another beautiful day, up early, with sun shine and a cooler breeze off the water.

At the school  a few of us started laying and pointing the blocks.We also visited a couple of the classes and continued cleaning up the yard.

After lunch we were invited to an assembly. All of the children participated and there was much enthusiasm with singing of songs and dancing. We also shared a few songs with Tom leading. Then there were grateful speeches from both  sides. We each received a gift from the students.

When we went back outside, the fence was completed to the level required. The workers will continue finishing the cement and placing the chain link. Next month a HANDS TEAM from Alberta will come to work on the other side of the lot.

We got to watch a soccer match between a Catholic school in the village and our school. The home team was skilled and we'll prepared and won 2-0.

Back at the hotel we were able to say thank you to Pastor Alvera  and the ladies who brought us supper each evening and to talk about his plans for the future of the Presbyterian schools in this area.

A last walk around town for ice cream and then back to pack.

In her thank you, Christian mentioned that she could see that we were laboring for the Lord and we also noticed that all the staff was as well.

Tomorrow is a travel day, starting early. We will see you all soon.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Day 8 0 comments

Today's theme was "Walk the Talk"

Breakfast was again a subdued affair. We're better but still not 100%.

We got to the school and started right to work.By lunch time we had the one end finished and were waiting for Narciso to start the other side. There wasn't anything else to do so we visited with the children. Before he was finished it started to rain again so we had to bring the blocks back into the yard.

So - another short  day but we were OK with that. 

We had arranged to have supper on our own so we walked to the restaurant for pizza, a nice treat.

We spent some time preparing for an assembly tomorrow but headed to bed early again.

No missional moments but we did interact with lots of people in a positive way.

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Monday, January 16, 2017

Days 6 &7 1 comment

Sunday's theme was "This is my Father's World"

We started out having a relaxing morning, no rush because we weren't going anywhere till lunch. We walked around town listening to various church services. Christian and her husband picked us up to have lunch at a restaurant. It was nicely set up along the water with various outdoor seating and a large playground for kids.

They had hamburgers on the menu and as we were all tired of rice and chicken that's  what we ordered. It was a very large patty, or two and tasted delicious. We walked back to the hotel to wait for the ride to church which was in the village where Christian lives, a small Presbyterian Congregation. There, we met Dorothy, a teacher from the US who is sponsored by Grace CRC in Chatham and Dordt College. She has been here for 32 years and plans to stay here after she retires. She was able to translate the sermon for us. We also sang a few songs for the congregation, accompanied by Tom.

All the people were very friendly and thanked us for coming.

Supper was served at the church of Pastor Alvera, and we were taken back to the hotel. By that time a few of us were feeling unwell and throughout the night we all were sick with vomiting and diarrhea.

We had been able to view more of God's  world but we did not sleep well.

Mondays theme was "Count your blessings"

We straggled in for breakfast. Luckily we were not planning to work today. Only John,  Dan, Betty W and Rien were spared - the only explanation seemed to be undercooked hamburger!

We toured the school  next to the church, which receives no government funding so has some leeway with the curriculum. The inclusion of Christ centered education is obvious with posters and sayings everywhere. 

Next we toured a high school also Presbyterian who's principal grew up in Smithville although he is now married and will stay here. He was very informative and answered several questions for us.

We went back to our school and the workers had started laying the cement blocks. Only John, Tom and Dan felt well enough to work so the rest of us went back to the hotel to rest.

Our list of blessings seems rather short today but we still have much to give thanks for.


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