Yesterday we (Nortons & Steeds) visited with Noelia and her family to celebrate the birthdays of Allen (10) and Bryan(7). We brought lunch and a homemade cake and spent a little time with the family. Noelia and I chatted afterward about some of the challenges she is facing right now. We were talking about there being no electricity to her house. She casually mentioned how she was up with one of the kids who was sick recently and found a man trying to get into the thin metal lamina door in front of her house. "It was pitch black, thank God some dogs started barking and the man ran off, I don't know what I would have done" I remembered a night in the past year as well when she had taken an all night job out of desperation and left the kids at home alone. Maria had fallen asleep while burning a candle (their only source of light) and awoke to her bed engulfed in flames. The past few weeks the boys have been really struggling in school. She shared that she's not sure it's worth them being there. There is one teacher for two grades and the current teacher is more interested in being on the computer than watching his class... Allen has failed 3 of his last 4 years and this one is not looking good. So much to balance alone... Pray for her this week.
This past Saturday we had our 2nd field day with 5 additional families we hope to see full-time in PFH. A 2nd group from Word Fellowship Church in New Jersey hosted the families along with our family. The boys wanted to learn how to play American football so the boys played football while the girls worked on some crafts. In the afternoon the local boys showed the visiting team how Guatemalan futbol is played! After lunch everyone worked on woodcrafts and bracelets. Our goal with these outings is to watch how the group interacts and to allow everyone to begin to get to know each other. We are so excited and look forward to a day soon when we can share the vision completely!
We had our first "Dia del Campo" or field day this past weekend with 5 families that we're looking forward to seeing in PFH at launch. We rented a small school bus and went to Finca Florencia, a huge park about 10 minutes from Magdalena. We played football, had a huge water balloon fight, even a little bachata dancing! We were curious what kind of a response we would get when we invited each family but they were all super excited to come to Florencia for the day. We brought in Pizza for lunch and bought ice cream for everyone. It was a great day for everyone including the team from Word Fellowship Church in New Jersey that helped us host the families. Myra (one of the moms) shared through tears that she was trying to think of way to celebrate her birthday with her four boys but with no money for cake or a special meal it was not going to happen. She was so grateful for what turned out to be her best birthday ever. (we didn't even know it was her birthday!)