Day 1 of VBS and Sports Camp in Los Verdes, Guatemala
Today was our first day to really interact with the children at the learning center in Los Verdes. In the morning, the younger children (pre-school age) piled out of the school bus or walked along the road up a steep hill to the learning center. As they came past the gate, they flooded towards us for big hugs. They know their friends from Indiana bring fun and excitement and they usually can’t wait to see us.
Today’s morning VBS was a hit. We told the story of Zacchaeus, who climbed up the tree to see Jesus. Local staff member Josh climbed up in a large tree as the children gathered below to hear the story. Josh has a flair for storytelling, and he was willing to climb the tree, so he made an excellent Zacchaeus.
Afterwords we broke into stations and the children made a craft, did an activity, and had a snack. At each station, they got some further discussion about the timeless truths to be learned from the story. With Zacchaeus, the themes of repentance and forgiveness were key, but…
our main point for the pre-school audience was that Jesus knew the name of the stranger watching him from the tree. Jesus knows the name of each child here, and loves them no matter their circumstances and the difficulties they may have to overcome.
In the afternoon, the school age children come to the learning center after classes let out at the public school. We must admit, this is the part that our team was worried about. There are over 170 total children (from Kindergarten to 6th grade) in the afternoon session, and it can be more challenging to keep them engaged than the younger kids. So rather than a VBS, we decided to do a sports camp. We incorporated a number of activities, including jump rope, relay races, obstacle courses, and exercises like jumping jacks, burpees, lunges, etc. The kids had a blast doing the physical activities.
When it came time to do a devotional, we gave a talk about sportsmanship based on Colossians 3. We discussed the importance of respecting others, both our teammates and our opponents. We discussed what drives us in athletic events …whether the praise of others or the desire to win a prize … or whether it is the knowledge that God’s blessings are our true recompense for everything we do. We talked about how everything we do should be done to glorify God, and how our actions can reflect God’s love to others around us. (John 13:35)
We ended our day with some time in the community, playing sports (Basketball and Soccer), and getting to spend some quality time with children from the learning center and other members of the community.
God is doing amazing things in this place! We’ve only gotten to see a tiny amount of what our local partners live every day, but we are having a blast. When you are here, you really get to experience the presence of God in a whole new way, seeing the lives of children and entire families changed for the better because of their connection to this project and the relationship it has with the Connection Pointe family.
Stay tuned, more to come from Guatemala…
CHILD SPONSORSHIP NOTE:
Most of the members of this team sponsor children in Guatemala and are there to give them an extra love touch. If you are interested in Child Sponsorship, please contact our Global Impact Team here. There are so many children in need of sponsorship and Dan or Teresa would be happy to walk you through the process and answer any questions you have.
Our 2017 trip schedule will be released soon and will be posted on the CP website as well as this blog. Maybe 2017 is your year to travel and give an extra love touch to our global partners!