This month marked the half-way mark of our mission year, and it seems surreal that we are on the downward slide from here on out. For the last six months we have worked hard, met new friends, seen amazing sites, become more fluent in Spanish, faced challenges, celebrated joys, and continued on our journeys of personal growth and spiritual development. Thank you for following us and continuing to keep us in your prayers!
This month was a change of pace for me, as the Ann Sullivan Center was out for summer vacation (remember, opposite seasons here). To occupy my time, I worked with Shane at the Compassion Program. I choreographed hip-hop dances to popular Spanish Christian music, and taught two dance classes a day, twice a week to kids and adolescents.
Attendance was optional and spotty, the kids were crazy, and there was no air conditioning or water. I was dripping sweat and exhausted by 10 am. BUT, the kids loved it!! One of the teachers even participated, and really enjoyed herself. On my last day, we put on a “show” in the sanctuary of the church to all the teachers, students, and staff. I was very proud of the kids, who really pulled it together, remembered the dance, and overcame their shyness for the performance. Then afterward, they asked me to put on music, and spontaneously had a dance party! Despite all the sweating, I will very much miss the kids and staff at the Compassion Program.
Shane has been VERY busy this month with Vacation Bible Schools, church soccer tournaments, field trips with the Compassion Program, church fundraisers, and a Presbytery-wide Youth Camp for adolescents. Many of these activities are outdoors, and he’s gone through several bottles of sun block by himself. He’s putting in a lot of overtime and working quite a few 7-day work weeks, but things should be returning to normal now that school is about to start back up. Despite the hectic schedule, he’s really enjoyed fellowshipping and having fun with his church family.
This weekend should be a nice break, as we are heading for the beach for a week-long YAV retreat!! All of the YAVs have been counting the days till we will get to relax and hang out together, because we have all grown so close as a group.
As I reflect back on the last six months, this bible verse has been in my prayers: “A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.” (Ecclesiastes 3:4) I guess the month of February was my time to dance! I pray that our remaining “seasons” in Peru will be a time to laugh, a time to embrace, a time to love, and a time of peace.
I pray for that, too. Amen.
What a great adventure! Thank you for keeping me up to date. I hope you will get to check in in Austin when you return.
Its great to hear from you. Yes, we will be in Austin the second week of August. I have my first wedding to officiate. I hope we have a chance to get together. Many hugs, Shane
YOu are doing such a wonderful job and even tho we’ve heard about the water situation and you are overcoming all kinds of obsticles. We are very proud of you at St. James and I am too.. I’m so happy that your mom came back to sing with us because I sure missed her when she was taking a break.Take care of yourselves and enjoy your “vacation”. Becky Dodgen
Blessings to both of you for the work you are doing. I’ll be heading to Malawi, South Africa shortly after graduation. It won’t be a year-long trip of service, but I’m looking forward to sharing in some of this JOY!! Continue in your safety and know you are loved.
It is hard to imagine the middle of summer as we sit here in the cold rain. So glad you both have the energy to be so involved in the communities activities. May you continue in energy and health. Working with kids can be very uplifting. God’s peace and blessings to you both.