“In the morning when I rise, give me Jesus.”
Last night God tucked us in to bed with a warm sunset and a blanket of stars. This morning he woke us up with an equally breathtaking sunrise. Half of the team, myself included, dragged our tired bodies out of bed around 5:40 a.m. We trekked up the hill behind our hotel. Although the hike was a bit more than most of us had anticipated, what awaited us at the top was more than worth it. The morning still had a chill to it, but the wind was calmer than it had been all week. Seated on blankets on top of the hill, we all sat in silent wonder as the light grew, slowly waking everything it touched. Ending a day with God and beginning the next in the same way less than 12 hours later was an experience I will never forget.
While some stayed up the next hour to journal, I enjoyed the company of my bed until breakfast. Breakfast, yet again, did not disappoint. I think when I get home I will still crave tortillas and refried beans with my eggs and bacon. Our morning began at the church building in Colonet. There we painted the church. This task was a bit more imposing than the houses we painted yesterday, but we were all more than ready to give back to the congregation who has given so freely to us all week. I have decided when you put a group of people whose nature is as competitive as college athletes together with paint, no one is safe. Alex, Mandy, Dee, and Jenna left the church covered from head to toe in white paint. The damage the rest of us sustained was minimal. Eventually the church was finished, and the preacher was extremely happy with our paint job!
After a short lunch at the hotel and clean clothes for those mentioned above, we headed back to Diaz Ordaz for our last softball clinic here and crafts. Most of the kids have pretty well gotten the hang of the game by now. Today I took a moment to go over and talk to a boy and girl who were sitting alone on the wall. The boy, Luis, was twelve, and the girl, Estrella, was ten. Unlike some of the siblings there, the two were best friends. Next thing I know, Luis is pitching, Estrella is hitting, and I was catching. We had our own little mini game of softball going on. The two reminded me a lot of my brother and me growing up (hey, John Logan). Playing with the two of them and seeing their love for each other was definitely a highlight of today for me. We got the whole group together to finish the day with some kickball. Back at the church we made a new craft where we took a paper plate, attached it to a stick, and hit balloons back and forth with it. One of the men in the congregation went around and got the signature of every girl on the team so he could remember us. The day was pretty wonderful as a whole!
We went back to the hotel to get all cleaned up for dinner back at Colonet. We had heard that there was a surprise dinner waiting for us at the church. It was SO good. They had made us soft-shell tostadas on homemade tortillas. Once again there was enough homemade guacamole and salsa to feed our entire athletic department. We have been so blessed by this congregation. Their love and service for us has flowed freely, and they are truly a living breathing example of Jesus.
We finished off our night with a bonfire in the side yard of the church. Mr. Coach Ryman brought his Bluetooth speaker. We took some time going around sharing and listening to some of our favorite worship songs and sharing where we had seen Jesus in the past few days. Tonight I want to share with you again where some of my sisters have seen Jesus this week.
RILEY: Riley saw God most clearly last night on the beach. She said there were so many moments where God’s love was completely tangible. (See yesterday’s blog for more details).
KASEY: Kasey made a friend today named Kenia. She saw God with how she played with her. She and Kenia spent the afternoon playing in the dirt and drawing pictures. Kasey said she saw God in the innocence of the game. At home we take so much to be entertained. Here Kenia was as happy as she could possibly be simply by drawing some pictures in the dirt.
CAITLIN(PLO): Plocheck sees God in the kid’s faces when we arrive every day at the church. Despite the fact that we have only known them for two days, they still show us so much love and greet us with endless smiles and laughter.
SARAH: Sarah sees God in smiles. Our smiles, the kid’s smiles, and every one in between. Tonight Sarah made a comment that throughout our trip she has felt God smiling. What she does not know is that yesterday while we sat under the stars I had the exact same thought. The same thought happened as I watched the sunrise. This week has been full of God’s smiles.
KILEY: Kiley has seen Jesus in the kids. She said she has been amazed at how open they have become towards us just in the two days we have been here. I cannot say this enough. The children have an innocence about them. They pour out so much love to everyone they encounter. I know that everyone on the trip is feeling it.
God is good. God is good. God is good. Tonight, like Dee, those are the words that are running ceaselessly through my head. He is good enough to know our hearts. He is good enough to use that knowledge to show Himself to us. He is just so good.