In describing the location of the sites we will be visiting, it is hard to decipher precisely the distances and relative locations. The categorized geography we are accustomed to fails me in a country where “up the hill past the abandoned factory” could very well be a valid postal address.
The indoor soccer field where we held our afternoon service for the older kids sits in the neighborhood of Chirizo close to the mission… Close enough, unfortunately, that walking back was possible when the bus did not arrive.
The other sites vary in quality. On one end is Volio, a pristine soccer field kept under lock-and-key. On the other is Bajo Managua, a dirt pit beside a highway serving a gravel road of wooden shacks.
Not the field, but the game itself that matters.
Today for our group was soccer, soccer, and more soccer, to the point where I and many others are one misstep away from a torn hamstring.
I have been seriously outclassed by preschoolers. I have seen them run the ball through five of our own, many of them on JV and varsity teams back home. We have scored and (more often) been scored upon, we have taken it in the face, the chest, and everywhere else, we are… Tired.
When it wasn’t “the Beautiful Game“, we managed to corral the kids for the spiritual portion of our service. Without a central plan, we stumbled though songs, bible story, memory verse, and arts-and-crafts eventually. An autopsy of the morning group revealed that a schedule will be much help, which will help us keep consistent and maintain the children’s focus away from the many, many distracting things we brought.
Tonight, Emily and Stephanie shared with me their experience today, praying with and consoling a local mother. She had lost a son to lung disease two years prior, and just over two weeks ago her newborn daughter had been taken away to live with a foster family.
Across a language and a culture, there were only three mothers, sharing in the grief and hoping for a better future.
We pray that our minds have the wisdom to know how God calls us to the ministry.
We pray that our bodies have the strength to continue His work.
We pray that our hearts have the love to understand, to find solace in dire times, and to be there when God’s love is needed.
Please continue to pray for our team as we continue our service.
If you would like to share a message with the team, send an e-mail to: Emily.email@example.com