Somehow another three whole weeks have passed! We’ve realized that our time as missionaries has flown. We’ve already been here almost 3 months and it feels as though we just left. Our work is in full swing now and it can get pretty busy!
As promised, I have included some pictures from the work that I’ve been doing. Now that I’ve been with the different groups of youth and adults for a few weeks they are much more comfortable participating in discussion and we can all get to know each other a little better. I teach 4 Small Catechism classes and 1 Large Catechism class in addition to leading Bible studies and working on different projects for Pastor Luis. One thing I’ve learned about teaching Catechism is that it’s actually harder to teach adults to memorize things than it is to teach the kids. I notice it in the adults that I teach and also with myself as I learn to memorize the catechism in Spanish for the first time. It seems that with age, we lose the ability to memorize. Although it has created an interesting challenge for my adult lessons it also gives us all something to laugh about!
Thursday night youth group means Bible study and games!
We have our Large Catechism class outside the church in Gualan on Friday nights
One new project that I am very excited about is called “Biohuertos.” Basically it is an agricultural program designed to help the people of the church in Los Limones to provide for themselves by producing vegetables for sale to the public. Los Limones is one of the poorer communities in the area. The community of people live within farmland but most of that land is not owned by them and not utilized by those who own it. Because of this, most of them are forced to look for work very far from where they live. Many of them have to work away from their families for 15 days at a time. A Lutheran Congregation in the United States has agreed to partner with Pastor Luis and the church in Gualan to purchase some land and resources for the people of the congregation in Los Limones. This will create jobs and give them a tremendous opportunity to provide for themselves. Since I have been working with both the youth and adults of Los Limones, Pastor Luis asked me to make a video summarizing the ministry that takes place in their community. I will be using the video to present to the congregation back in the U.S.A. I am extremely excited and honored to be a part of this generous ministry project that I think could have a tremendous positive impact on the lives of God’s children in Los Limones.
The most rewarding experience so far: the youth of Los Limones learn how to use their bibles for the first time.
As for the work that Cassandra has been doing, she just held the auditions for the clarinets and saxophones that were generously donated. Cassandra and the music director, Carlos, selected the students who showed the most dedication and potential for those instruments. The auditions for the other instruments will take place soon. With the addition of woodwind instruments to the band, she will be able to practice with brass while Carlos focuses on the woodwinds. Carlos has asked her to compile some hymns for the band to eventually play at church. Unfortunately, Cassandra’s work has been hindered by the fact that she has been sick for over a week now. She has some sort of stomach infection that has prevented her from working with the choir and band. Illnesses are a part of the less than glamorous side of being a missionary, but she has been fighting through it. We made our first visit to the doctor today to get her some antibiotics which should help her beat whatever is in her system, Lord willing.
This past month has met us with new blessings and new challenges, but we are altogether thankful for the opportunity we have to be here and serve here! Please continue to keep us in your prayers, specifically for our health and perseverance.