"For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being ROOTED and grounded in LOVE, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the LOVE of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen."

~Ephesians 3:14-21

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Showers of Blessings

"I will bless my people and their homes around my holy hill. And in the proper season I will send the showers they need. There will be showers of blessing." 

- Ezekiel 34:26

Day 1: It has been raining for days here in Cajamarca. Early each morning we look out the window and see more dark clouds creeping over the mountain into the valley. When we arrived for the first day of Bible School, we were wondering if any children would show up because the streets were flooded in front of the church and more cold rain was falling from above. Within minutes, we realized that God is always in control. He sends the rain in the proper season...and reminds us daily of His many blessings. One by one, children began to enter the iron gates of Monte Sion, with smiles on their faces - never once complaining of the rain

The street in front of Monte Sion Church!

Volunteers waiting for children to arrive!

One by one...each child arrived!

The church filled up with 144 children on the first day. We were so excited to see so many children full of energy and joy...and coming to learn more about Jesus Christ. Sean and I are in charge of games for the week and helping out where needed. We thought we had it all planned out as game time began...and within minutes we had 144 children rushing to the center of the church room screaming and asking us in Spanish what we were going to play. As we tried to communicate with our little Spanish...things began to turn into MASS chaos. Being inside due to the rain, made it difficult for all the kids to hardly stand (much less play a game). Little three year olds were being pushed around by the older children. Sean and I were praying inside for strength and help. Other adult volunteers quickly jumped in to help and somehow or another we made it through with some sort of organized play. We realized at that moment that we could not do it alone and were so thankful for our new church friends who helped us communicate and organize the crowd. Thank you God for reminding us to depend on You in all we do...thank you God for helping to make each child smile as they played with others and learned about You.

What a beautiful sight...the Pastor leading the crowd with praise and worship!

So many SMILES!

"But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” - Matthew 19:14

Day 2: You would not believe how quickly we crashed last night when we made it home from VBS. All our energy was completely drained from our bodies from spending the day preparing and helping for the first day of Bible School. As day two began, we all prayed for children to come back and for additional children to come and join us. All the volunteers worked together to figure out how to handle the crowds better with each section of Bible School. When the doors opened, 170 children arrived on another cold, rainy day. Thank you Lord for Your showers of blessings. 

Sean and I planned to have groups participate one at a time (depending on age) during the games. During this time, smaller crowds participated and all the children had an opportunity to play with others their age. We decided to bring candy today to pass out to the winners of each game and to pass out to the little ones who were just happy to be there. Once I opened the candy and pulled it out of the bag...(two words happened) MASS chaos! All the kids covered me as I tried to hand out candy one by one. The crowd never got smaller...I just saw the same faces coming back begging for more with sweet little smiles on their faces. It was so hard to say no, but I knew the candy was running out fast. 
Meet Nicolle...immediate connection to this beautiful girl. Thank you God for bringing her into my life. Nicolle walked by on Day 1 in front of the church and she kept walking past with her family. I asked her to come in and join us for VBS. After talking to her parents about how fun VBS would be, she entered the church. We love to talk (she tries to use English and I try my Spanish)...and we both try to get to know each other better. Looking forward to our time tomorrow!
Very proud of Sailor...standing and holding the Christian Flag in front of all the kids!

Lots of hugs and kisses from all the sweet children!

Singing Jesus Loves Me (Cristo Me Ama)!

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