Today we started the work portion of our trip. We headed out earlier this morning to Rayti Bokay, a community center built by Hope Road. When we showed up we were greeted by the smiling faces of all the children. This was a very nice community center with classrooms, computers, and a multi-sports court.
The classrooms needed cleaning and painting, so we split into two groups. One group worked on the classrooms and painted the first half of the day, while the other group played sports with the children. As we were cleaning the classrooms and preparing them to be painted, we got to see a lot of the work on the walls that the children had made. I know this may come as a shock, but we actually aren't the most skilled painters.
Despite the fact that we were not stroking the brush with professional grade quality, the people of the community center were more than appreciative of the work we were able to accomplish. This part, we found really special. The children were more than content to be playing with bouncy balls, stamps, and bubbles we had brought. Some of the older ones even played us a in a few games of basketball. It may seem a bit obvious coming from a basketball team, but playing the game with them was yet another "language" that we share with these people.
It doesn't take many words to understand a smile, a laugh, or a game as simple as follow the leader. It seems that the girls are picking up a few more Spanish words here and there. I think this is good, but really what catches my eye, is watching them develop these other ways to communicate. Using the same love and joy that we have in Him, relationships start to form.
The two groups switched around lunch time and we continued to work well into the afternoon. One thing most of the team leaders noted was our group's work ethic. Everyone was constantly looking for ways to help, and no one had to be asked. After we finished working for the day we came back to the house for a little down time before dinner.
After dinner we all joined in a big game of "mafia" before the devo portion of our night. Everyone shared a little bit of what they were thankful for, what they saw or experienced today, and what they learned from it. I find this to be one of the best parts of the day, because since we were a little more spread out, we all saw and experienced different things.
The theme of tonight's discussion was how thankful we are as a team that we have the opportunity to openly share our faith together. We are extremely blessed to be at Lipscomb, a school where we can go on these trips and freely discuss our walks with Jesus. The even better news is that this is only night three.